3. Kansas tops Texas Tech to claim a share of the Big 12 title

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In their final game at Allen Fieldhouse, Jalen Wilson and fellow Kansas senior Kevin McCullar Jr. not only did they keep the tough Jayhawks in front of Texas Tech most of the night, but they also made the play that sealed the win.

Along with another Big 12 title.

Wilson had 21 points to lead all scorers, McCullar added 14 points on a critical basket in the final minute, and the third-ranked Jayhawks held off the Red Raiders 67-63 on Tuesday to claim at least a share of their NCAA-leading 64th regular-season conference championship.

“It felt so good to win,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to appreciate the moment.”

Dajuan Harris had 16 points for the Jayhawks (25-5, 13-4), who would clinch the outright title if No. 9 Texas loses at No. 22 TCU on Wednesday night. Otherwise, the Jayhawks would have to beat the Longhorns on Saturday.

Kansas held on to a 61-60 lead after the Red Raiders’ De’Vion Harmon could only make the second of two free throws with 56.4 seconds left. But after the Jayhawks drove the floor and Wilson failed to get an open look, the loose ball ended up in the hands of McCullar, who just had to lay it up for a three-point lead.

“It was a loose ball. “I saw Harmon reach for it and I said, ‘I’ve got to get this ball and this bucket,'” said McCullar, who transferred from Texas Tech. “There was no one around so I just nailed it. That play was big.”

“If anybody was going to make that play, it was Kevin,” Wilson added. “That’s the kind of guy he is.”

Texas Tech still had time and called a timeout to prepare the play. But Pop Isaacs threw down a layup from the side of the plate and Harris scored in transition for the Jayhawks to put the game out of reach.

“We had to go for the 3 or try to score and get something quick and we went with it,” Red Raiders coach Mark Adams said of the game’s key possession. “I didn’t receive the call.”

The Jayhawks improved to 22-1 against Texas Tech (16-14, 5-12) in the Phogo with their seventh straight win overall and haven’t lost on senior night since the 1983-84 season.

“They made some big plays down the stretch, especially in the last few minutes. That’s what Kansas does,” Adams said. “With their home court advantage, they know how to win late games.”

Harmon had 15 points to lead Texas Tech, which was just 3 of 16 from the 3-point line. Kevin Obanor added 14 points, Fardaws Aimaq 13 points and 18 rebounds, and Isaacs finished with 11 points.

Wearing retro red uniforms for their senior sendoff, the Jayhawks got off to a cold start against the defensive-minded Red Raiders. McCullar ended up dropping a couple of 3s apart to give Kansas some breathing room, and Wilson started driving for contested layups, helping the Jayhawks take a 30-21 lead into the break.

Texas Tech was 1 of 11 from behind the arc and committed seven turnovers in the first 20 scattershot minutes.

The Red Raiders cold streak ended there. They scored five quick points early in the second half, nearly erasing their deficit in the first few outings, and Obanor began to get easy buckets in the game.

While the Jayhawks responded every time Texas Tech gained possession, they were never able to put the game away. And when it looked like they might, as Gradey Dick scored his first points on two free throws to make it 60-55 with about three minutes left, the Red Raiders responded with back-to-back baskets on the other end.

Kansas could finally celebrate only after McCullar’s throw of the ball and Harris’ penetration in the last minute.


Texas Tech has been late to its NCAA Tournament bid with four straight wins, including back-to-back wins over Kansas State and Texas. But back-to-back close losses to TCU and Kansas could make a Big 12 Tournament title run the only way they can get back into the dance.

Kansas has more Quad 1 wins than any other team in the country, and advanced metrics also love the Jayhawks, who once again reign supreme in the nation’s toughest conference. That’s likely enough to earn them the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a win Saturday along with a Big 12 Tournament title could propel them to the No. 1 overall seed.


The regular season ends Saturday when Texas Tech plays Oklahoma State and Kansas visits Texas.

3. Kansas tops Texas Tech to claim a share of the Big 12 title originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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