In a back and forth game that literally went down to the last second, Kansas prevailed over Creighton in a nail-biting 73-72 affair between two top-10 programs.
It looked like Kansas might pull away early as the Jayhawks netted a 23-17 with just under 12 minutes to play before halftime. But by the 6-minute mark, the game was knotted at 29 apiece. The Jayhawks would eventually take a 4-point lead into the break, 39-35.
The game continued its back and forth tendency, tied up at 50-eachwith 12:46 to play. Kansas would open up a 58-50 lead, its largest of the game, but the Bluejays quickly closed the gap, tying it back up at 59 with 7:10 to go. The Jayhawks again led by 6, 67-61, following a Christian Braun 3-pointer with just 3:40 to play. But Creighton would not fold.
With the game tied at 70 following a Denzel Mahoney layup with 68 seconds left, Jalen Wilson swished a 3-pointer with 42 seconds to go (off a nice kickout from David McCormack through a double-team). Marcus Zegarowski missed a 3 on the other end, and Braun was fouled following the rebound. Braun went to the line for a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds to go, but his free throw went hard off the front iron, giving the Bluejays one last chance.
Marcus Zegarowski, the reigning Big East Player of the Year, took the outlet pass, dribbled to the wing, and threw up a prayer. He came down with an Emmy and three free throws with just 1.1 seconds left on the clock. Zegarowski calmly hit the first two to make it a one-point game, but the third went strong off the back iron and was batted up and out of bounds, hitting the floor right as the buzzer sounded, ending the game and giving the Jayhawks the 73-72 victory.
Once again, Kansas struggled from the rim, hitting just 10-21 shots at point-blank range. However, the Jayhawks did have 11 second-chance points off of 13 offensive rebounds.
Kansas managed to win a game with the season’s leading scorer, Ochai Agbaji, failing to score. Agbaji was 0-6 from the field, but did contribute 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Jalen Wilson was a force yet again, leading Kansas with 23 points on 8-12 shooting, including 4-6 from behind the arc. He added 10 rebounds (!) as well.
Creighton left a lot of points on the floor, hitting just 9-18 free throws. Kansas wasn’t much better, hitting 11-17 from the charity stripe.
Kansas will stay home and take on Omaha in Allen Fieldhouse on Friday, Dec 11, at 6:00 PM local time on ESPN2.