In a battle of two contrasting styles, defense ruled the day. The Huskers boast one of the top defenses in the country while the Kansas Jayhawks are one of the most efficient on the offensive end. Ask anyone which side might give and most would probably say the Huskers wouldn't be able to turn back the Jayhawk offense. That just wasn't the case.
More and more the Big 12 looks like a league that top to bottom might just be pretty well balanced. Doc Sadler's defensive philosophy gave the Jayhawks fits throughout the game and led to a five point halftime lead. A lead that was the first over a Jayhawk squad at half all year, a lead that neutralized the home court advantage for Kansas and a lead that once again exposed major vulnerabilities for Kansas.
To start the second half the Jayhawks would pick up where they left off turning the ball over on their first five possessions. At that point the Jayhawks were down double digits and trailed by their largest margin all year. The game was going exactly the way Doc Sadler would want. Nebraska was forcing turnovers, limiting Kansas to one shot and playing a fairly solid game on the offensive end.
Finally right around the 15 minute mark of the second half the Jayhawk squad seemed to wake up. Back to back interior buckets by Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson followed by a full team hustle play leading to a Tyrel Reed three narrowing the lead to just one. Kansas regained the home crowd and at the 11:41 mark the Jayhawks would finally regain their first lead since early in the game. After some further back and forth in a game the Jayhawks just couldn't put away, Kansas would secure the late win on a missed three pointer by the Huskers at the buzzer.
Kansas wins this one by a final score of 63-60. The Jayhawks were paced by senior guard Tyrel Reed, who contributed 16 points on 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, and Marcus Morris who stepped up late and finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Hat tip to the Huskers and Doc Sadler for coming out an executing their game plan extremely well for the majority of the game. It seems Sadler always seems to have his team playing well and executing, they just need to get over the hump from a talent standpoint and they might be able to make some waves when they move to their new home in the Big 10.
That said, it's a win for Kansas and thankfully so as it would have been a slight annoyance had the final game in Allen Fieldhouse against the Corn gone the other way.
Winners in this one; Tyrel Reed deserves some credit for keeping the Jayhawks in this and I can't help but enjoy the Kansas bigs doing their best to rip down the basket late, although next time they can hopefully start sooner. Just win!
Losers; No way to phrase it and not sound like broken record so we'll just leave it at that. If you watched the game, draw your own conclusions. This team has so much upside but has to find a way to reach that potential consistently.
Next up a short turnaround and a trip to Waco for a big matchup with Baylor on Monday. 40% of all Jayhawk fans (or just those on this site according to our unofficial poll) see that Baylor game as the most likely spot for the Jayhawks first loss.