Baylor kept it close for awhile, well into the second half actually, but Kansas eventually pulled away for a victory in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
Neither team got much going in the first half. The Jayhawks took a couple of four and five-point leads at different points, but Baylor battled back every time, finally banking in a 25-footer as the buzzer expired to take a 23-21 Bear lead into halftime.
Well guess who has two thumbs and was upset with his team's first half play? It was Bill Self. Kansas came out and almost immediately took a 7-point lead, 33-26, with 16:57 to go. Baylor would close to 34-32, but Kansas would stretch out a 10-point lead and the game was never really in doubt beyond the 12-minute mark.
I say that despite Baylor's furious rally in the final two minutes of the game that saw the Bears come from down 16 down at the 1:51 mark, 64-48, to close to 69-66 with only 7 seconds left. Bill Self got frustrated enough with the backups to bring in the starters with 25 seconds left.
Fortunately, the Baylor rally fell short and Kansas prevailed, 70-66.
Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks in scoring (20 pts on 7-15 shooting), but Wayne Selden led the Jayhawks in highlights. Sure, Ellis had a dunk. Yes, Graham had a dunk. Hell, Bragg even had a dunk. But Selden had a DUNK. In fact, it was this dunk at the afore-mentioned 16:57 mark that may have effectively ended the game.
It was so good, I'll even embed it for you:
Yeah. You're welcome.
Every Jayhawk except the walk-ons (Manning, Self, Young) saw time on the floor in this one. Diallo even got a few minutes in there at the end of the game before Self put the starters back in. Bragg scored in double figures, 10 points on 4-8 shooting with 7 rebounds. Bragg also collected four fouls.
Kansas advances to the title game of the Big 12 Tournament, which will be played on Saturday, March 12, at 5:00 PM on ESPN.