KU dug their requisite early hole as Bill Self continues to roll out the two-big lineup to start each game.
Down 5-2, he went small early and the Jayhawks never looked back. By the ten minute mark, KU was up 26-9. Freshman Christian Braun provided a huge spark off the bench, scoring 11 on 3-4 shooting behind the arc by halftime, and even shooting an imaginary arrow in the direction of the KSU bench. At the break, Kansas was cruising with a 39-23 advantage, thanks in part to Braun and Devon Dotson (seven points and two assists in the first half).
Things only got worse for the Wildcats in the second half as the onslaught continued. Braun continued to impress and take minutes away from Moss and Agbaji with his shooting and aggressiveness. Defensively, KU played about like you'd expect, limiting the offensively-challenged Wildcats' scoring opportunities and taking them out of rhythm.
In the end, it was a much-needed 81-60 rout for a team that had not looked like their dominant selves of late. Braun ended up leading all scorers with 20, going 6-10 from deep. Udoka Azubuike notched a double-double with ten points and 14 boards (plus three blocks), while Dotson contributed 18. For the third straight game, Marcus Garrett led the team in assists with five, while scoring eight (though he missed both his threes).
However, marring the victory was a fight that broke out as time was running down. Nearly every player from both teams got involved, and we will no doubt see some suspensions depending on how bad things look once the tape has been broken down. More on that as it unfolds.
Sparking the brawl was an event similar to what we saw at the end of the Monmouth game back in November. Kansas was dribbling the clock out with less than 10 seconds left, K-State’s DaJuan Gordon stole the ball and attempted a layup. Silvio de Sousa blocked the shot attempt, but then stood over Gordon in a taunting manner. The K-State bench cleared, and KSU’s James Love shoved de Sousa, which cleared the KU bench. Punches were thrown, chairs were picked up, and it was an overall ugly scene.
This weekend, we take a break from Big 12 action in favor of the Big 12-SEC Challenge. This year KU is matched up with a middling Tennessee team, who will have to play in the Phog this coming Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm Jayhawk Time.
It's always fun to beat K-State. Rock Chalk!