Things got very interesting in Ft. Worth Saturday, resulting in a lot of Kansas fans biting their nails before the Jayhawks came through.
It actually looked like Kansas might cruise to a Big 12 road victory early on. Solid early defense and hot shooting by Svi Mykhailiuk carried KU to a 22-8 lead. TCU would chip away at that average through the remainder of the half, but Kansas still went into the break with a 42-34 lead.
It felt like things would get tighter in the second, with Kansas having shot incredibly well in the first, while TCU shot unsustainably poorly. The law of averages won out, and TCU pulled closer and closer until finally taking a lead around the 5 minute mark. Unfortunately for Kansas, this run by TCU saw Udoka Azubuike foul out before the 4 minute break, and things seemed dicey for the Jayhawks.
To that point in the game, Mitch Lightfoot had done well. After Dok fouled out, only Devonte Graham came up with bigger plays than the undersized sophomore big man. In a seesaw affair, Lightfoot hit a three and came up with a huge block on a potential game-tying three point attempt. Combined with a great steal and clutch free throw shooting by Graham, KU was able to salt this one away, winning 88-84.
There were things to be happy about in this, but also plenty for fans to continue fretting about. For a second straight game, Lagerald Vick was largely silent, and neither Malik Newnan or Sam Cunliffe picked up the slack. Marcus Garrett had a solid game, but continues to struggle on the offensive end. The Jayhawks rebounded terribly, allowing 19 offensive rebounds on 43 TCU missed shots. However, it was nice to see KU shoot 33 free throws, even if that number was bolstered a bit by late game fouling.
Kansas kept the sky in the air for at least a few days, with likely the easiest conference game of the year upcoming, as Iowa State comes to Lawrence.