Bruce Weber

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) celebrates a teammate's three-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 10, 2016. Kansas defeated Kansas State 85-63. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

Ellis leads No. 1 Kansas to 85-63 rout of K-State in Big 12s

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Perry Ellis scored 21 points, Frank Mason III added 16 and top-ranked Kansas ran roughshod over weary Kansas State, 85-63, on Thursday in the quarterfinals in the Big 12 Tournament.

The Jayhawks (28-4), who won their 12th consecutive regular-season crown, led 45-30 at halftime before pushing their advantage past 20 for much of the second half. They coasted the rest of their way to a semifinal matchup Friday night with No. 22 Baylor, which handled No. 23 Texas earlier in the day.

Carlton Bragg added a career-high 12 points for Kansas. Devonte Graham finished with 11.

The eighth-seeded Wildcats (17-16) were led by Justin Edwards, who hit five 3s and had 23 points. But the senior guard didn’t get nearly as much help as he had in a first-round victory over Oklahoma State.

Wesley Iwundu and D.J. Johnson scored 10 apiece, but freshman forward Dean Wade – who had a career-high 20 against the Cowboys – was held to five points on 1-for-6 shooting. Fellow freshman Barry Brown was 1 of 8 from the field and managed only three points in 26 minutes.

Kansas State has never beaten Kansas in nine tries in the Big 12 tournament.

The Jayhawks, potentially playing for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, certainly looked the part before a heavily pro-Kansas crowd. They shot 57 percent from the field, had the edge in rebounding, assists and steals, and protected the ball so well Kansas State never made much of a run.

The few times the Wildcats mounted a charge, Ellis or Mason was there to answer it.

The biggest highlight may have come when Ellis soared for an alley-oop pass and slammed it down midway through the second half, sending the crowd in Sprint Center buzzing and giving Kansas a 55-37 lead.

Edwards kept trying to shoot Kansas State back in the game, but the rest of the Wildcats looked spent from their game against the Cowboys down the stretch. Kansas merely had to protect the basketball in the final minutes to wrap up its 12th consecutive victory.

CHEICK CHECK

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo did not play after needing five stitches in his mouth following an incident in practice Wednesday. Diallo, a five-star recruit, has struggled to earn minutes behind the Jayhawks’ bevy of veteran forwards. He hasn’t scored more than two points in a game since January.

TIP-INS

Kansas State: Edwards also had 10 rebounds. … The Wildcats shot 38 percent, including 6 of 18 from beyond the arc. … The last time the teams met in the Big 12 Tournament was the 2013 finals.

Kansas: Wayne Selden Jr. was held to five points on 1-for-6 shooting. … The Jayhawks improved to 19-1 in their opening game of the conference tournament. … Kansas swept the season series from Kansas State.

UP NEXT

Kansas State waits to hear if it is playing in the NIT.

Kansas plays the No. 22 Bears in Friday night’s semifinals.

No. 17 Iowa State beats Kansas State 80-61

Iowa State forward Georges Niang, left, reacts with coach Steve Prohm, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 80-61. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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AMES, Iowa (AP) Matt Thomas scored 20 points and Georges Niang added 17 to help 17th-ranked Iowa State beat Kansas State 80-61 on Saturday night, clinching its fifth straight 20-win season.

Jameel McKay scored 14 points with 17 rebounds off the bench for the notoriously-thin Cyclones (20-9, 9-7 Big 12), who got 24 points from their reserves.

Iowa State strung together 13-0 runs in each half, which proved to be the difference. The Wildcats pulled as close as 65-59 before backup Hallice Cooke’s 3 with just under four minutes left swung momentum back in favor of the Cyclones.

D.J. Johnson had 22 with nine boards for Kansas State (15-14, 4-12), which shot just 4 of 18 from 3-point range.

Iowa State’s dream of a share of the Big 12 title ended last weekend when Kansas secured its 12th league win.

But the Cyclones are still hoping they have a big run left in them.

Beating K-State was a necessary start.

Iowa State shook off a sluggish first few minutes with a 13-0 run to jump ahead 21-14. Still, it took a 3 from Monte Morris to give the Cyclones a 31-30 lead at the break.

Two consecutive 3s from Thomas in the left corner put Iowa State ahead 45-39. Cooke, who has mostly struggled in his first season with the Cyclones, then drilled one from that exact spot to make it 48-39.

Deonte Burton’s first basket, an emphatic one-handed dunk, pushed Iowa State’s lead to 60-45. K-State answered with seven straight and Niang was forced to the bench with his fourth foul with 7:27 left. But McKay followed Cooke’s huge 3 with a dunk as the Cyclones pulled away.

Cooke finished with 10 points after being held scoreless for four straight games.

TIP-INS

Iowa State: Niang started for the 120th time Saturday. … All five Cyclones starters entered play averaging at least 10 points and four boards a game. … Thomas completed a rare four-point play to give Iowa State its first lead, 17-14. He later moved into seventh place in school history on made 3s.

Kansas State: The Wildcats played their 13th ranked team this season, surpassing the school record of 12 set in 2010-11 and 2014-15. … K-State forced 13 turnovers against one of the best teams in the Big 12 at securing the ball.

UP NEXT

The Cyclones close out their home schedule Monday night against Oklahoma State.

Kansas State hosts TCU on Wednesday.

Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LukeMeredithAP

Wesley Iwundu, Kansas State knock off No. 1 Oklahoma

Kansa State forward Wesley Iwundu (25) pulls down a rebound against Mississippi during an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kansas, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (Bo Rader /The Wichita Eagle via AP) LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
Bo Rader /The Wichita Eagle via AP
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One of the big questions regarding No. 1 Oklahoma was how they’d handle an off shooting night. On multiple occasions this season the Sooners have managed to win in spite of a subpar effort from one of their guards, thanks in large part to national Player of the Year frontrunner Buddy Hield. But what would they do against a team that managed to limit Hield (by his standards)?

That’s what happened at Kansas State Saturday night, and the Sooners did not have the right answers for the Wildcats on either end of the floor. Wesley Iwundu scored 22 points, dished out seven assists and played excellent defense on Hield throughout the game to lead the way. And freshman forward Dean Wade chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench as the Wildcats won by the final score of 80-69.

Hield scored 23 points but did so on 7-for-16 shooting, and a lot of that damage was done during the second half as he scored 17 points during the game’s final 20 minutes. But it wasn’t enough as the Sooners didn’t get much from anyone other than Ryan Spangler (nine points) as they looked to mount a comeback. Jordan Woodard, who’s been a consistent supplementary scoring option this season, went scoreless Saturday and that essentially left Oklahoma with three scorers (Hield, Ryan Spangler and Isaiah Cousins).

It’s highly unlikely that anyone’s going to completely take away Hield; the key there is to make him work for everything he gets and the long, athletic Iwundu managed to do that. But if you can take away one (or more) of Oklahoma’s supplementary scorers you’ve got a shot at knocking them off.

Oklahoma also had issues defensively, as the Wildcats shot 52.9 percent from the field. Iwundu was very good at finding scoring opportunities not only for himself but for his teammates as well, and in the post players such as Wade and D.J. Johnson were effective against Spangler, Khadeem Lattin and Akolda Manyang. Kansas State outplayed Oklahoma in the post, and their execution offensively helped the Wildcats pull off the upset despite committing 15 turnovers.

If not for those turnovers the margin likely would have been worse for Oklahoma, which scored 26 points off of Kansas State turnovers and many of its 15 fast break points came via K-State mistakes. The Sooners are lethal in transition, something we’ve seen on many occasions this season. Kansas State, when they didn’t turn the ball over, kept Oklahoma from running out and finding the quality looks that have made them so successful.

As a result, Bruce Weber’s Wildcats¬†made sure that Hield and his fellow Oklahoma seniors will graduate without a win in Manhattan.

Ellis helps No. 7 Kansas pull away from Kansas State, 77-59

Wayne Selden Jr.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kansas coach Bill Self was only slightly happier Wednesday night than Kansas State counterpart Bruce Weber, and the only reason for that was his seventh-ranked Jayhawks had won.

“I’ll be candid,” Self said after the 77-59 victory, “they outplayed us. They beat us to loose balls, they outhustled us. … That’s about as soft as I can remember one of our teams playing.”

Perry Ellis scored 19 points, and Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte Graham added 10 points apiece, to bail out the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) on a night they were dominated on the glass.

Kansas managed two offensive rebounds while getting outrebounded 36-21 by an undersized opponent.

“It wasn’t a well-played game on our part at all,” Self said. “But I think K-State, they came ready to play. I thought their defense was really, really good. I think they shrunk the floor on ball screens, they control the glass. … For some reason we were still ahead.”

That reason was probably the Wildcats’ 23 turnovers.

“One of the things I put on the board was, `Make simple basketball plays,”‘ Weber said. “We try to do too much sometimes and don’t let the game come to us.”

Stephen Hurt had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats, who have not won at Kansas since 2006 – three coaches ago. Wesley Iwundu added 15 points but also had six turnovers.

“Coach said, `You can’t let offense determine defense,’ and that happened to us,” Iwundu said.

Not in the first 15 minutes. That part of the game belonged to Kansas State, which clogged the lane and forced a handful of early turnovers of its own to take an early 18-10 lead.

“We can’t do that,” Graham said. “We have to come out and know everyone is coming after our heads.”

Eventually, Ellis and Mykhailiuk knocked down 3s to help start a first-half run, and Frank Mason III countered his balky shot with some hustle that created plays for others. After one hard landing, the guard got up to find the white sleeve covering his right calf and knee soaked through with blood.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats slowly began to lose their composure.

After Mason’s basket with 12 seconds to go, Hurt turned the ball over on the inbounds play, sending Weber into an uproar. He stormed across the court after one of the officials and appeared to be close to getting a technical foul before assistants reined him in.

“I tried to keep my poise. And for 16 minutes, I told the official, I kept it to myself,” Weber said. “You have to fight through it and be tougher than that.”

Then again, Weber wasn’t any happier when Brannen Greene knocked down a 3-pointer and was fouled, converting a rare four-point play with 2 seconds left that gave Kansas a 39-29 lead.

Kansas State trimmed its deficit to 47-45 on a basket by D.J. Johnson with just under 12 minutes to go, but Wayne Selden III answered with a 3 from the wing and a layup off an alley-oop pass.

That kicked off one more big run that allowed the Jayhawks to seize control of the game.

“It was amazing to me, we were up 10 at the half and I felt like it was a tie,” Self said. “It was one of those games, I looked up and I was surprised we had the lead.”

STOKES SURGERY

Kansas State guard Kamau Stokes will have surgery on his right knee Thursday. He was hurt in last Saturday’s win over Mississippi. “He’ll probably be out for a while,” Weber said without giving details on the nature of the surgery. “It’s a miracle that he could come back (this season).”

TIP-INS

Kansas State: Johnson had nine points before fouling out. He played 12 minutes. … The Wildcats finished with a 36-21 rebounding advantage. … Kansas State is 1-6 in road games.

Kansas: C Hunter Mickelson did not play while dealing with a high ankle sprain. … Landen Lucas, who fouled out, had eight points and six rebounds. … Kansas was 16 of 22 from the free throw line.

UP NEXT

Kansas State plays No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday.

Kansas visits TCU on Saturday.

Hield scores 31 as No. 2 Oklahoma beats Kansas State 86-76

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) dribbles the basketball up court in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Harvard at the Diamond Head Classic, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Buddy Hield scored 31 points to help No. 2 Oklahoma beat Kansas State 86-76 on Saturday.

Hield followed his 46-point effort in Monday’s triple-overtime loss to No. 1 Kansas by making 11 of 14 shots, including 6 of 8 3-pointers. It was his eighth straight game with at least 20 points and his sixth this season with at least 30.

Jordan Woodard scored 19 points and Khadeem Lattin added 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks for the Sooners (13-1, 2-1 Big 12).

Kansas State upset Oklahoma in Norman last year, but Oklahoma avoided a repeat by shooting 57 percent from the field.

Barry Brown scored 19 points and Dean Wade added 12 for Kansas State (10-5, 0-3), which shot just 38 percent. The Wildcats lost their first two conference games, to West Virginia and Texas, by a combined seven points.

Isaiah Cousins’ lob to Hield for a two-handed dunk gave Oklahoma a 22-6 lead with 13:19 to play in the first half. Kansas State made a bit of a run, but Woodard stole the ball and threw long for Hield, who found Ryan Spangler for a layup, and then Hield got a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Sooners up 42-21.

Kansas State scored the final 12 points of the first half, and a 3-pointer by Justin Edwards in the final minute cut Oklahoma’s lead to 44-35 at the break. Hield scored 17 points in the first half.

A 3-pointer by Hield and a layup by Spangler put Oklahoma up 53-39 with just under 16 minutes to play. Back-to-back 3s by Hield put the Sooners ahead 63-45 with just under 12 minutes remaining.

Kansas State made one more surge, but a late 7-0 run, including a 3-pointer and a jumper by Woodard, put the game out of reach.

TIP-INS

Kansas State: Stephen Hurt, who had a career-high 15 points in last year’s game in Norman, scored 11 this time. … G Kamau Stokes missed all five of his shots in the first half and made 2 of 8 overall. … The Kansas State bench was called for a technical with 18:55 remaining. … The Wildcats allowed 80 or more points for just the third time this season.

Oklahoma: Backup C Akolda Manyang was sick and did not play. … The Sooners made 5 of 8 3-pointers in the first half and 11 of 19 overall. … Lattin blocked four shots in the first half. … Hield also had eight rebounds and five assists.

UP NEXT

Kansas State hosts Texas Tech on Tuesday.

Oklahoma plays at Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

Forward James Love commits to Kansas State

Bruce Weber
Associated Press
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Sunday afternoon Kansas State landed its second verbal commitment in the Class of 2016, as 6-foot-9 power forward James Love made his pledge to the Big 12 program. News of Love’s commitment was first reported by Hoopseen.com, with Love confirming via Twitter shortly thereafter.

Love joins small forward Xavier Sneed in Kansas State’s 2016 recruiting class to date. The Wildcats will lose a member of its front court rotation at the end of the 2015-16 season in center Stephen Hurt, and Love gives them an active and athletic forward moving forward.

Love attends American Heritage School in Miramar, Florida, and his decision came on the heels of his official visit to Kansas State this weekend.