No. 3 Kansas leads Texas Tech to secure Big 12 title share

LAWRENCE, Kan. — In their final game at Allen Fieldhouse, Jalen Wilson and fellow veteran Kansas player Kevin McCullar Jr. not only kept the hardened Jayhawks ahead of Texas Tech most of the night, they made the play that sealed the win.

Along with another Big 12 title.

Wilson had 21 points to lead all scorers, McCullar added 14 points with a critical basket in the last minute, and the third-ranked Jayhawks held off the Red Raiders 67-63 Tuesday to at least a part of their NCAA-leading 64. place to win the regular season conference championship.

“It felt so good to win,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to enjoy the moment.”

Dajuan Harris had 16 points for the Jayhawks (25-5, 13-4), who would win the overall title if No. 9 Texas loses to No. 22 TCU on Wednesday night. Otherwise, the Jayhawks would have to beat the Longhorns on Saturday.

Kansas clung to a 61-60 lead after the Red Raiders’ De’Vion Harmon was reduced to the second of two free throws with 56.4 seconds remaining. But after the Jayhawks hit the ground and Wilson couldn’t get a clear look, a loose ball landed in the hands of McCullar, who just had to put it in for a three-point lead.

“It was a loose ball. I saw Harmon grab it and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get this ball and this bucket,'” said McCullar, who joined from Texas Tech. “Nobody was around so I just put it in. This piece was huge.”

“If anyone wanted to make this game, it was Kevin,” Wilson added. “That’s just who he is.”

Texas Tech had time left and called a time-out to set up a game. But Pop Isaacs threw a driving layup off the backboard side, and Harris scored in the transition for the Jayhawks to put the game out of reach.

“We had to go for the 3 or try to score and get something quick and we went with that,” Red Raiders coach Mark Adams said of the game’s crucial possession. “Call not received.”

The Jayhawks improved to a 22-1 win over Texas Tech (16-14, 5-12) in the Phog with their seventh straight win and have not lost on senior night since the 1983-84 season.

“They made some big plays out on the track, especially in the last few minutes. That’s what Kansas does,” Adams said. “With their home field advantage, they know how to win late in games.”

Harmon had 15 points to lead Texas Tech, which was just 3-of-16 from the 3-point line. Kevin Obanor added 14 points, Fardaw’s Aimaq had 13 points and 18 rebounds, and Isaacs finished with 11 points.

The Jayhawks, who donned red retro uniforms to bid farewell to the seniors, got off to a chilly start against the defensive-minded Red Raiders. McCullar eventually let a few 3 seconds apart to give Kansas some breathing room and Wilson started driving around contested layups, helping the Jayhawks take a 30-21 lead by the break.

Texas Tech was 1 of 11 from beyond the arc, committing seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes of scattershot.

This ended the Red Raiders’ cold phase. They scored five quick points early in the second half, nearly wiping their deficit on their first few drives down, and Obanor started getting light buckets in the paint.

While the Jayhawks responded every time Texas Tech gained possession, they never got the better of the game. And when it looked like Gradey Dick would score his first points with two free throws three minutes from time to make it 60-55, the Red Raiders responded at the other end with back-to-back baskets.

It wasn’t until McCullar’s bucket and Harris’ breakway layup fell apart in the last minute that Kansas could finally celebrate.


Texas Tech made a late run toward an NCAA tournament bid with four straight wins, including straight wins over Kansas State and Texas. But back-to-back narrow losses to TCU and Kansas could create a run to the Big 12 tournament title, the only way to make it back to the dance.

Kansas has more Quad 1 wins than any other team in the country, and advanced metrics love the Jayhawks, who once again have the upper hand in the nation’s toughest conference. That’s probably enough to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but if they win along with a Big 12 tournament title on Saturday, they could move to the top of the seeding list overall.


The regular season ends on Saturday when Texas Tech plays Oklahoma State and Kansas visits Texas.

No. 3 Kansas Leads Texas Tech to Win Big 12 Title Share originally appeared on No. 3 Kansas leads Texas Tech to secure Big 12 title share

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