The Jayhawks got out to a rare great start in this one, building up a 9-3 lead less than three minutes in. Unfortunately, David McCormack picked up an early second foul, and things started going poorly from there (imagine writing that sentence six weeks ago). Kansas got sloppy with the ball, committing several unforced turnovers, and Texas hit five of their first seven twos. Mitch Lightfoot continues to be incredibly poor in his relief duty behind McCormack and Texas’ big men started going to work. It very quickly turned into a 16-11 deficit.
KU did start to get some things going after taking Lightfoot out of the game and went on a really nice run, turning the deficit into a 26-18 lead before Texas finally ended their run, only to be answered by an Ochai Agbaji three - his third of the first half. Near the five minute mark Texas needed a timeout to stop the bleeding as a breakaway dunk by Bryce Thompson gave the Jayhawks their biggest lead yet, 32-20. Coming out of the timeout, he did it again. The Jayhawks held several 14 point leads, and ultimately led 43-32 at the break.
Through one half, KU was shooting 48% from the floor, thanks in part to getting out and running in transition for a few easy buckets. Their three point struggles continued however, hitting just four of 12 (33%). Meanwhile they held Texas to 33% from the floor, but Texas was due to bounce back in the second half after going 1-13 (7%) from deep, which was unsustainable. Jalen Wilson headed into the locker room with eight points and eight boards, more than holding his own at the center spot once Bill Self went small. Agbaji was on fire 14 after going 4-6 from deep, while Thompson put up 11 on 5-6 shooting.
In the second half, the advantage started to evaporate almost immediately. McCormack’s return didn’t provide any kind of a spark (nor did the wide open dunk he missed), and Self ended up returning to the five out look at times even with Mac available. Texas eventually hit a few threes, as expected, but what was not expected was the easy looks they found elsewhere on the court.
Texas tied it up at the 10:35 mark, and from there it took a lot of effort for Kansas just to hang around. Over the last four minutes, both teams really had trouble scoring, but down 66-64, McCormack grabbed a big offensive rebound and tied it up with seven seconds left. Texas couldn’t get a good look and the game headed to overtime.
Overtime was a comedy of terrible basketball on both sides, but Texas was slightly less terrible and got the win, 75-72.
Kansas drops to 17-8, 11-6 in conference play. The Jayhawks are scheduled to play Baylor in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 PM, which would be the regular season finale for Kansas (should Baylor decide they are able to play a team not named Iowa State after Feb 2).