Some games are just ugly, start to finish. This was one of those games. Through some combination of good defense and awful shooting (mostly awful shooting), this one was a low scoring affair from start to finish. It was tied at 23 headed to the locker room and neither team had looked good.
The squads didn't deviate from that storyline in the second half, either. But Kansas ended up with a late advantage, up four with just under two minutes to go. Christian Braun failed to convert the free throw on an and one, but Nova failed to score on the other end. However, Devon Dotson, who had a forgettable performance, turned it over, which promptly led to two on the other end with just over a minute remaining. Bill Self got a timeout, and the Jayhawks got the ball inside to David McCormack, who instead of turning toward the basket for a shot at the rim, tried fading away and missed the shot. Nova then hit a three on the other end to go up one. Dotson was luckily fouled with 17 seconds remaining, but missed the front end of a one and one. Nova rebounded, and KU, with only four fouls committed for the half, had to try and get to them to the bonus. They got lucky as an inbound attempt was knocked out of bounds by the Wildcats with 11 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, the the Jayhawks got the ball to Dotson, giving him a chance to redeem himself. Unfortunately, after driving he pulled up for a fadeaway jumper that had little chance of going in. In the end, Villanova took the win 56-55.
The Jayhawks now get a break for Christmas, playing again on the road next weekend against Stanford, who's been a bit of a surprise at 11-1 so far this year.