Joel Embiid

No. 8 Kansas fully back on track with win over West Virginia

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Kansas finally lost a Big 12 game last Saturday at Texas, but after a win against Baylor and another home win over West Virginia, the No. 8 Jayhawks are back in control of things and control their own destiny in the conference.

Kansas was impressive on Saturday in an 83-69 win over West Virginia in Lawrence, as they limited turnovers, took good shots and had solid point guard play from freshman backup Frank Mason and a good closing stretch from Naadir Tharpe.

Mason had five points and five assists — with no turnovers — off the bench for the Jayhawks while Tharpe had five points, four assists and one turnover.

When Kansas gets a near double-double performance with one turnover from the point guard position, they are likely going to win.

Wayne Selden had a solid outing with 17 points, looking confident attacking the basket and scoring in a variety of ways. Andrew Wiggins had 19 points and was a menace on defense on Eron Harris in the second half.

As long as the Jayhawks stay steady with the ball, limit turnovers and shoot good shots like they did against West Virginia, they’ll be very tough to beat.

West Virginia played a pretty good game on the road on Saturday. Juwan Staten has really picked up his play at the point guard this season and he’s a terror in the open floor. Eron Harris has a smoothness and a confidence catching the ball off of curls right now and he’s getting in the lane and hitting jumpers.

But this Kansas team is filled with pros and when they move the ball and play smart basketball, you aren’t beating them in Lawrence.

Kansas now has to go into the Sunflower State Showdown at Kansas State on Monday and face a very confident Wildcat team. That should be yet another great Big 12 game.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: