Monday, 15 October, 2018

Sluggish Jayhawks advance to championship over bruised Wildcats

Big 12 Tournament Central Big 12 Tournament 2018: Bracket, schedule, scores, teams, and more
Rita Gibson | 11 March, 2018, 15:47

Four hours before tipoff, Dean Wade - K-State's All-Big 12 first-team selection at forward - was ruled out as a precautionary measure after suffering a foot injury in Thursday's win over TCU.

The Sunflower Showdown never lacks intensity or drama, but Friday night's newest installment of the rivalry will have an extra dash of importance when Kansas and Kansas State meet for a spot in the Big 12 tournament championship.

So even as Self said his Jayhawks "don't go after the ball with two hands, like men do, a lot of times", and said, "So we were better even though I won't be too giddy about it", he also said non-defensively, "This team is easy to nitpick with because when we're good it's magnified in ways because we can shoot and move the ball".

The Tar Heels beat their heated Tobacco Road rivals for the first time in the conference tournament since the 1998 championship game.

TCU is expected to be selected to the Tournament on Sunday.

No. 8 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 68 vs.

The Jayhawks won both regular season matchups, 73-72 in Lawrence, 70-56 in Manhattan.

"Any time you get whipped on the boards like that, certainly they were much more aggressive", he said.

Malik Newman led the Jayhawks with a total of 30 points, helping them achieve a major lead.

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Jeffrey Carroll scored 17 points and Kendall Smith had 14 for the No. 8 seed Cowboys, who can only hope their opening-round win over Oklahoma solidified their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Oklahoma State's NCAA fate: No one doubts that Oklahoma State is playing better now than Oklahoma - and other teams that may make the NCAA tournament.

Texas would not go down without a fight, though. "I'll probably cry if they lose", Lucas said. Its 81.5 points marks the third straight season the Jayhawks have averaged 80 or more points per game. But the 60-percent foul shooter missed the first of two free throws, forcing him to miss the second, and the Wildcats corralled the rebound to seal the win. Evans was seven-of-10 from the field and connected on nine-of-14 free throws.

Unheralded forward Mawien stepped up with a career-high 29 points, and Xavier Sneed scored 12 despite another poor shooting night, but the duo couldn't make up for two major absences. Kansas State took a different route, as it needed overtime to get past TCU in a thriller. Current head coach Chris Beard was an assistant with the team that year.

No. 3 West Virginia vs.

Newman, who fell way short of coach Bill Self's predictions in his first regular season with Kansas since transferring from Mississippi State, has set himself up for Most Outstanding Player honors in the tournament if Kansas is the team cutting down the nets at the end. Even with the knowledge that a win could put OSU in a less precarious position entering the weekend, Oklahoma State could not stop itself from going almost eight minutes without a point in the second half.

The Wildcats rank 126th in three pointers allowed per game (21.2) while the Jayhawks rank 246th (24.0).

Brown called for the ball in another clutch situation and made a shot that kept the Wildcats dancing. A large part of West Virginia's second half success came from its defensive pressure. Texas State has been poor at defending the paint, but superb at closing off the 3-point line. For four days, 10 teams will get the chance to advance to the championship game on Saturday March 10th, with that game tipping off at 6:00 p.m. ET.

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