Kansas finished off the season sweep of not only K-State, not only West Virginia, but of Big 12 titles in beating the Mountaineers 81-70 to claim the Big 12 Tournament title.
In a bit of foreshadowing, WVU scored the first five points of the game, followed by KU scoring the next seven points. The first half see-sawed back and forth as Kanas built a six-point, 20-14 lead, before West Virginia claimed a five-point, 29-24 lead. West Virginia would end up with a 1-point, 34-33 halftime advantage.
The Mountaineers came out on fire to open the second half, building an eight-point, 51-43 lead with just over 15 minutes to go. The Jayhawks quickly closed the gap, even taking a 53-51 lead, but West Virginia just as quickly rebuilt another lead at 61-56 with just over 10 minutes left.
As is tradition, West Virginia melted in the final 10 minutes of the second half. After a Silvio de Sousa layup gave Kansas a 68-66 lead with 5:36 to play, KU would never trail again. A dagger Malik Newman 3-pointer gave KU a 76-68 lead with just 3:17 left, and a Svi dunk on a runout with 31 second left put the exclamation point on the game. Kansas ended the game on a 25-7 run as KU prevailed 81-70.
A Devonte Graham steal with 25 seconds left leaves us with quite the controversy in Jayhawkland; I am firmly on #TeamGrahamShouldHaveDunked.
Malik Newman continued his tournament tear, and if he isn’t the touney MVP then something is wrong. Malik had 20 points on 6-11 shooting, with all six makes from behind the arc (6-8). He added six rebounds, an assist, and three steals.
Devonte Graham missed his first three shots but recovered to score 18 points on 7-13 shooting. Graham also piled up 13 assists.
Silvio de Sousa looked AMAZING this game. I’m so excited for the future with this kid. He shot a perfect 8-8 from the field on his way to 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Once again, KU won this game from behind the arc, hitting 15-27 (55.6%) compared to WVU’s 8-24 (33.3%).
Up next, KU awaits its fate in the NCAA Tournament. I would expect the Jayhawks to be the third 1-seed and placed in the Midwest Region. Selection Sunday comes to you on cable this year: TBS at 5 PM CST. It will be live streamed at NCAA.com/march-madness-live.