No. 1 Kansas closes out No. 9 West Virginia, wins Big 12 tournament title

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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No. 1 Kansas closed out the season by knocking off No. 9 West Virginia, 81-71, on Saturday night to win the Big 12 conference tournament. With the win, the Jayhawks have assuredly clinched a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and the Jayhawks have a serious case for No. 1 overall seed.

Kansas (30-4) won the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament title as Devonte Graham had 27 points, five rebounds and four assists as he scored the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honors. The Jayhawks have had a lot of different go-to guys to close out games this season, but Kansas is at their toughest when Graham comes to play like that. Graham also played like that in the road win over Oklahoma this season and it means that it’s that much tougher to defend Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden and Frank Mason when Graham plays like that.

Selden also stepped up with 21 points as he continued a solid recent stretch while Ellis finished with 17 points.

For West Virginia (26-8), this was a solid showing for a team that should have a pretty good NCAA tournament seed come Sunday. The Mountaineers had a huge outing from junior big man Devin Williams, as he tore up the Kansas frontcourt for 31 points and 12 rebounds. But outside of Williams, West Virginia didn’t have anyone above seven points as they struggled to score.

Overall, Kansas is looking like a potential title team entering Selection Sunday and they’re peaking at the right time. In a season in which not a lot of the best teams have major, pro-level star power, a balanced team like Kansas can definitely win this thing as long as someone is willing to step up and close each game.