In a story of college basketball, only John Wooden-era UCLA has ever won 13 true discussion championships.
Kansas is now one feat divided from relating that.
The Jayhawks tightened their white-knuckle hold on a Big 12 this week with back-to-back stirring victories over their dual toughest challengers. Five nights after entertainment a supernatural late convene to edge West Virginia, Kansas scored a final 8 points of Saturday’s showdown during Baylor to emerge with a 67-65 win.
Those dual slight victories give third-ranked Kansas (24-3, 9-2) an all though indomitable three-game advantage over both a Bears (22-5, 9-5) and Mountaineers (20-6, 8-5) with 4 unchanging deteriorate games remaining. To bind during slightest a share of a Big 12 title, a Jayhawks need usually one some-more victory. It will take usually dual some-more Kansas wins to pledge an undisguised championship.
The biggest play in Saturday’s feat came from brazen Landen Lucas, who spent a initial integrate years of his Kansas career buried on a dais though has emerged as by distant a Jayhawks’ many profitable large male as a senior. When Kansas ensure Devonte Graham missed what would have been a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 15 seconds to play, Lucas out-battled a powerful Baylor frontline for a descent miscarry and drew a tainted in a process.
For Lucas, a 59.1 percent giveaway chuck shooter who had missed 10 of his prior 12 attempts, a go-ahead tainted shots were no guarantee. But a 6-foot-10 comparison lived adult to a vouch he done progressing this week and knocked down both a go-ahead giveaway chuck and an word tainted shot to give Kansas a two-point lead.
It was wise that Lucas was a favourite on Saturday given he is a unsung pivotal to Kansas’ deteriorate so far.
With Carlton Bragg not holding a step brazen as a sophomore, Udoka Azubuike out for a deteriorate due to damage and Dwight Coleby and Mitch Lightfoot not nonetheless prepared to contribute, Lucas is Kansas’ usually constant large man. Frank Mason is a inhabitant actor of a year claimant and Josh Jackson is a destiny lottery pick, however, Lucas might be a Jayhawks’ many indispensable player.
The possession after Lucas’ giveaway throws was Baylor’s final stand, a final possibility to equivocate a deteriorate brush during a hands of a Jayhawks and revive some intrigue to a discussion race. Baylor manager Scott Drew called timeout to set adult a play, though a outcome was not what he hoped.
When dual Jayhawks ran during Baylor indicate ensure Manu Lecomte as a time ticked down, he did not have a intrepidity to find an open teammate. Lecomte instead hoisted a contested burst shot that missed badly, sealing a Bears’ fate.
Putting a round in Lecomte’s hands was a controversial preference deliberation he had been hobbling given branch his ankle progressing in a game. The damage was poignant adequate that Drew had been stealing Lecomte on invulnerability by carrying him ensure LaGerald Vick instead of Mason or Graham.
The thespian finish to a diversion was suitable for an interesting strife of dual teams with aspirations of receiving No. 1 seeds in a NCAA tournament. The dual Big 12 powers traded momentum-swinging runs in a second half, Kansas surging in front with an 8-0 run mid through the half usually to have Baylor answer right behind with a 9-0 run of a own.
Ultimately it was Kansas who showed extensive mental toughness and struck a final blow.
Mason scored 23 points and dished out 8 assists. Jackson tallied 16 points and 4 blocks. But Lucas, a Jayhawks’ unheralded hero, done a play that pushed his group over a tip and one win closer to another discussion title.
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