Well that was (mostly) a proper mauling.
I’ll spare most of the
boring expected details. Kansas fell behind early (12-7), then went on a 13-0 run (20-12) en route to building a 13-point halftime lead (43-30). K-State made a run in the second half, closing to within 53-51 with 10:20 remaining, but a 14-4 run by KU put the game out of reach and the Jayhawks coasted the final six minutes or so to victory.
I’m sure the Dark Web aka K-State Twitterverse is already breaking down how the refs won the game (again) for KU, even though KU didn’t attempt a free throw until 15:36 left in the SECOND HALF.
For the rest of us in reality, this game was won behind the three point line. For the game, KU made just one more field goal than K-State. However, KU shot 11-28 (39.3%) from behind the arc, while KSU hit just 2-13 (15.4%).
For the second straight game, Malik Newman led the way for the Jayhawks, putting up 22 points on 8-14 shooting. That gives Newman 52 points on 19-29 shooting so far in the Big 12 Tournament. Tonight, Newman added six rebounds and four assists.
Devonte Graham struggled shooting tonight, hitting just 3-11 shots for 15 points (8-8 from the free throw line). Graham had four rebounds and eight assists.
Silvio de Sousa keeps showing flashes, adding 8 points on 3-5 shooting while cleaning up 11 rebounds.
The one concerning thing coming out of this game was KU’s lack of an answer for Makol Mawein inside the lane, who abused the Jayhawks inside to the tune of 29 points on 13-19 shooting.
For his part, Bill Self was not thrilled with the way his Jayhawks played, insinuating that KSU might have won this one on Bruce Weber’s now-infamous Play Hard Chart.
“I thought they played better than us, but I thought a lot of it was self-inflected. We couldn’t guard them and offensively we weren’t very smart. If I sleep two hours tonight, it’ll be more than I probably think I should.”
Up next, KU will take on either Texas Tech or West Virginia in the Big 12 Championship game on Saturday, March 10, at 5 PM from Sprint Center in Kansas City.