No. 8 Kansas avenges earlier loss to No. 7 Kansas State, 90-78

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jalen Wilson had 20 points, Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 8 Kansas avenged a loss to Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago with a 90-78 victory over the seventh-ranked Wildcats.

Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 18 for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who built a 12-point halftime lead before coasting to their 17th straight home win over the Wildcats in the 10th matchup of top-10 teams in series history.

Kansas has rebounded nicely from a rare three-game skid that included the overtime loss to Kansas State, and made sure to avoid taking back-to-back losses in its storied home for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

Markquis Nowell scored 23 points and Keyontae Johnson had 22 to lead the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3), who were trying for their first regular-season sweep of their biggest rival in four decades. Nae’Qwan Tomlin added 11 points and David N’Guessan had 10.

In their first meeting on Jan. 17, the Wildcats raced to a big early lead and controlled the game until late in the second half, when the Jayhawks forced overtime — only for Kansas State to win on Johnson’s alley-oop dunk.

It was the Jayhawks who controlled the rematch.

They used a 16-7 run in the first half that included a technical foul on Kansas State coach Jerome Tang to build a 32-19 lead. And when Johnson answered with eight straight points for the Wildcats, and the lead was eventually trimmed to four, the reigning national champs pulled away again down the stretch.

It was 37-32 when Wilson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Zach Clemence added one of his own. And by the time Wilson made two foul shots with about 10 seconds left, Kansas had built a 49-37 lead that it took to the break.

The Wildcats briefly got within six in the second half before the Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 16.

OFFICIATING OOPS

Johnson had to sit with two fouls just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Only problem? The crew of John Higgins, Kip Kissinger and Marques Pettigrew gave one to the wrong player. By the time they corrected their mistake, the Wildcats’ leading scorer had unnecessarily ridden the bench for several minutes.

SELLOUT … AND THEN SOME

For the first time in more than 15 years, more Kansas students redeemed tickets than there was space available inside Allen Fieldhouse. The overflow had to watch the game on screens in the adjacent Horejsi Family Athletics Center, where the Jayhawks play volleyball games. Those students also got refunds and concessions vouchers.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State’s three losses in league play have been to ranked teams on the road: TCU, Iowa State and Kansas. And with a more forgiving second half to the Big 12 schedule, the Wildcats remain firmly in the conference title hunt.

Kansas got its mojo back with its win over Kentucky last weekend. This victory over another bunch of Wildcats was crucial because the road doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks, who are in the midst of three straight games against teams ranked 13th or better.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for another top-10 showdown Saturday against No. 10 Texas.

Kansas hits the road for the third time in four games against No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday.

No. 12 Iowa State holds on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
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AMES, Iowa – Jaren Holmes matched his season high with 23 points as No. 12 Iowa State held on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76 on Tuesday night.

The Cyclones (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) moved into a three-way tie atop the conference standings with the Wildcats and Texas.

Gabe Kalscheur added 19 points for Iowa State. Osun Osunniyi finished with 16.

Markquis Nowell led Kansas State (17-3, 6-2) with 23 points.

A 3-pointer from Holmes gave Iowa State a 59-49 advantage with 8:12 remaining. Kansas State responded with a 10-1 run to trim the margin to 60-59.

Caleb Grill’s 3-pointer steadied the Cyclones and pushed the lead back to 63-59 with five minutes left.

Free throws by Osunniyi, Grill and Holmes sealed the victory in the final 24 seconds.

The first half featured eight lead changes and ended with Kansas State up 33-31.

A 3-pointer by Kalscheur ignited an early 9-0 run for the Cyclones and helped them build a 19-14 lead. Iowa State made just one of nine 3-point tries in the first 20 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State was trying to extend its best start to a season since 1961-62.

Iowa State improved to 11-0 at home. The Cyclones have not lost back-to-back games this season.

UP NEXT

Kansas State hosts Florida on Saturday as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Iowa State travels to Missouri on Saturday.

No. 17 Baylor beats No. 9 Kansas in matchup of last 2 champs

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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WACO, Texas – LJ Cryer had 22 points with five 3-pointers and 17th-ranked Baylor stretched its Big 12-best winning streak to five games with a 75-69 win over No. 9 Kansas on Monday night in a matchup of the last two national champions.

The reigning champion Jayhawks (16-4, 5-3 Big 12) coming off a 23-point home loss to TCU, lost their third straight game. It’s only their fourth three-game losing streak in coach Bill Self’s 20 seasons.

Adam Flagler added 17 points, while Jalen Bridges and Langston Love each had 11 for 2021 champion Baylor (15-5, 5-3), which overcome another tough shooting night. The Bears were 37.1% from the field (23 of 62) two days after a 62-60 win at Oklahoma when they shot a season-low 36.2%.

Freshman Gradey Dick had 24 points for the Jayhawks while Jalen Wilson had 23. Kevin McCullar Jr. had 14 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double this season.

Love converted a three-point play for the Bears with 14:32 left to put them ahead to stay after Kansas took its only lead at 46-45 when Wilson swished a 3-pointer from the left wing. Love’s field goal and free throw started a 12-3 run that he capped with a 3-pointer.

KJ Adams made two free throws with 6 seconds left in the first half to get the Jayhawks within 41-34, the closest they had been since about five minutes into the game.

After Wilson’s layup got Kansas within 11-7, Baylor had a 9-0 run that was punctuated by Josh Ojianwuna’s two-handed putback dunk. That was the last time in the half that the Bears had consecutive scores, though Cryer did make three 3s in an 83-second span – the first two after 3s by Dick and Wilson, and the third following two free throws by Dick.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas: The other times the Jayhawks lost three in a row under Self were in February 2005, February 2013 and January 2021. … Dick got his second foul only 3:13 into the first half, and was limited to 11 minutes before the break.

Baylor: The Bears got off to a fast start with a steal by Bridges that led to a fast-break layup by Cryer before Flo Thamba had a three-point play. Bridges then had another steal, this one in the backcourt, though Cryer missed an open 3 that would have made it 8-0 only a minute into the game. … The Bears are 25-8 against Top 25 teams over the past four seasons, the nation’s best mark.

UP NEXT

Kansas goes to Rupp Arena to play Kentucky in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.

Baylor is home for its SEC/Big 12 Challenge game against Arkansas on Saturday. That is a rematch of the 2021 Elite Eight game the Bears won 81-72 on way to winning their national championship.

Purdue back at No. 1 in AP Top 25, Alabama right behind

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
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Purdue is back at No. 1 in the AP Top 25. Alabama is right behind the Boilermakers.

Purdue returned to the top spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, moving up two spots after Temple knocked off No. 1 Houston over the weekend. The Boilermakers received 39 first-place votes from a 62-person media panel after a volatile week where just two teams kept the same spot from a week ago.

Alabama climbed two spots to No. 2, picking up 23 first-place votes for its highest ranking since reaching No. 1 in 2002-03. Houston, Tennessee and Kansas State round out the top five.

Purdue (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten) had dropped to No. 3 after four weeks at No. 1 following a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 3, but has since won six straight.

Alabama (17-2, 7-0 SEC) has made a steady climb since being ranked No. 20 in the preseason AP Top 25, moving into the top 10 in early December. The Crimson Tide had lopsided wins over Missouri and Vanderbilt after Darius Miles was dismissed from the team as he faces a murder charge in a fatal shooting near campus.

Alabama coach Nate Oats reached out to Ray Lewis before the Crimson Tide played Vanderbilt last week, sharing a Bible verse suggested by the Hall of Fame linebacker. Alabama ended up beating Vandy by 12 and rolled over Missouri by 21.

“I did see some guys break down postgame,” Oats said. “I think they’ve been bottling some stuff up. We’ve got a job to do. We’ve got to get to the game. We got to the game and took care of business, and then it’s almost like a big relief. The game’s over, and we can let out a sigh of relief.”

COUGARS FALL

Houston moved atop the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Phi Slama Jama of the 1980s earlier this season before a loss to Alabama dropped it back to No. 5.

The Cougars returned to No. 1 on Jan. 9, but their run ended after two weeks with Sunday’s 56-55 loss to Temple. The win was the Owls’ first over a No. 1 team since 2000.

BEATING KU

Kansas State moved up eight spots to No. 5 after outlasting rival Kansas 83-82 at Bramlage Coliseum last week. It’s the Wildcats’ highest ranking since reaching No. 3 in 2010-11.

TCU gave Kansas consecutive losses in the state for the first time since 1989 with a 23-point beatdown at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. It was one of Bill Self’s worst losses in 20 years as Kansas’ coach and ended the Jayhawks’ 16-game home winning streak.

The No. 14 Horned Frogs moved up three spots in this week’s poll after the win. Kansas, the defending national champion, dropped seven spots to No. 9.

BIG TEN BUMMER

While Purdue has remained near the top of the poll most of the season, the rest of the Big Ten has fallen off. With Rutgers dropping out, the Big Ten has just one AP Top 25 team for the first time since the Feb. 16, 2004, when No. 12 Wisconsin was the conference’s lone ranked team, according to Sportradar.

RISING/FALLING

Kansas State had the week’s biggest jump, followed by No. 4 Tennessee and No. 6 Arizona each climbing five spots. No. 21 Baylor moved up four spots with wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

Gonzaga had the biggest fall, losing eight places to No. 14 after Loyola Marymount ended the Zags’ 75-game home winning streak on Thursday. No. 13 Xavier dropped five spots after a one-point road loss to DePaul.

IN AND OUT

No. 22 Saint Mary’s is ranked for the first time this season after rolling over Pepperdine and Santa Clara last week. No. 25 New Mexico is back in the poll after beating San Jose State and outlasting Boise State in overtime.

A three-point loss to Michigan State knocked Rutgers out of the poll from No. 23. Arkansas dropped out from No. 25 following a loss to Missouri.

No. 12 Iowa State pulls away from No. 7 Texas, wins 78-67

Texas v Iowa State
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AMES, Iowa – Jaren Holmes scored 21 points and No. 12 Iowa State defeated No. 7 Texas 78-67 on Tuesday night.

Holmes hit seven of 13 shots, including two 3-pointers, and Gabe Kalscheur added 16 points.

“We earned this,” Holmes said. “We deserve this, because of our daily habits.”

Caleb Grill contributed 17 and Osun Osunniyi finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Cyclones (14-3, 5-1 Big 12).

“There is a rugged toughness to how we do it,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “But there is a togetherness and a unity that are at a really, really special level with this group.”

Texas (15-3, 4-2) was undone by a second-half scoring drought that lasted nearly 4 1/2 minutes. Iowa State responded with an 8-0 run to seize control.

The Longhorns went 9 1/2 without making a shot from the floor.

“They made plays down the stretch,” Texas interim coach Rodney Terry said. “T.J. had his team ready to play today. Just a highly competitive game in the Big 12.”

A 3-pointer from Grill gave the Cyclones a 64-55 lead with 6:01 to play.

Christian Bishop led Texas with 12 points.

The Longhorns’ Tyrese Hunter scored 10 points – all in the first half – in his return to Ames, after transferring from Iowa State. Hunter was greeted with boos and an occasional obscene chant from the student section.

He responded with six quick points, matching his scoring mark from his previous three games.

“We’re Texas. We get everybody’s big game,” Terry said. “We looked at it like ‘you know what, it’s another opportunity to compete at the highest level.’ (Hunter) attacked it the same way.”

The Longhorns went on to build a 29-18 lead, before Iowa State answered with a 10-0 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Kalscheur and Grill.

Texas went the final 7:28 of the first half without a field goal, but only trailed 36-35.

“The first 10 minutes, they were the aggressor,” Otzelberger said. “That last 30 minutes, how we competed defensively, is the club we are and who we need to be for 40 minutes.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State moved into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 standings with Tuesday’s win. The finish came about 30 minutes after Kansas’ 83-82 overtime loss at Kansas State, handing the Jayhawks their first conference loss.

UP NEXT

Texas plays at West Virginia on Saturday night.

Iowa State visits Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Johnson scores 24 as No. 13 Kansas State beats No. 2 Kansas 83-82

Kansas v Kansas State
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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State coach Jerome Tang grabbed a microphone and stood amid a sea of purple, moments after delirious fans had flooded the floor to celebrate the No. 13 Wildcats’ 83-82 overtime win over second-ranked Kansas.

“You have one court-storming,” the Wildcats’ first-year coach told them over the din. “After this, we expect to win.”

Expectations are sure to soar in the Little Apple now.

After blowing a 14-point first-half lead, the Wildcats responded to every haymaker Kansas threw down the stretch. And when their game went to overtime, and players kept fouling out, Keyontae Johnson delivered for Kansas State, throwing down a go-ahead alley-oop dunk with 25 seconds left that ultimately proved to be the difference.

“In order to elevate,” Johnson said later, “we have to beat teams like Kansas.”

Johnson and Desi Sills finished with 24 points apiece, and Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 15 points and 10 boards, as the Wildcats (16-2, 5-1 Big 12) bounced back from a blowout loss to TCU by beating the Jayhawks for the first time since Feb 5, 2019.

Jalen Wilson tried to take over in overtime for Kansas, converting a three-point play, knocking down a 3-pointer and making a pair of free throws for an 82-80 lead with just over a minute to go. But after Johnson made a free throw at the other end, Wilson missed a deep 3-pointer as the shot-clock expired to give the Wildcats another chance.

After a timeout, Markquis Nowell threw the lob that Johnson slammed down for an 83-82 advantage.

Kansas (16-2, 5-1) also called a timeout to set up its own finishing play, but normally sure-handed Dajuan Harris Jr. lost the ball in traffic, and the Jayhawks never got a chance to put up a potentially winning shot.

“If you told me we’d have the ball with a chance to win twice, that’s something I’d probably sell out for,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “That last possession is one possession I probably wish we could take back.”

Wilson played all 45 minutes and finished with a career-high 38 points for the Jayhawks. KJ Adams had 17 points and Gradey Dick had 16, though both of the key players were riding the bench at the finish after fouling out.

Both teams had chances to win in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Kansas had possession first with 23 seconds to go and the game tied at 72, only to watch Harris lose control near the midcourt line – much like he did at the finish to overtime. The Wildcats grabbed the loose ball and pitched it ahead to Johnson, but the star forward missed a wild shot at the rim just before the buzzer sounded.

Johnson wouldn’t miss when he got another winning chance in overtime.

It was the most anticipated Sunflower Showdown in years, drawing a capacity crowd that snaked around Bramlage Coliseum hours before tipoff as it waited to get in. and it was the less-regarded Wildcats rather than the defending national champions that demonstrated early poise and precision.

Kansas State made its first five 3-pointers and shot 52% from the field in the first half. It stuffed Wilson, the Big 12’s top scorer, three times before he made a basket. And at one point, the Wildcats led by as many as 14 points.

“They were shooting lights-out,” Adams said.

Yet there’s a reason the Jayhawks entered the night 29-5 in Bramlage Coliseum.

They always seem to deal with the pressure there.

Wilson finally got on track, scoring 12 in the first half, and Adams found success with floaters in the lane, pouring in 15 by the break. The Jayhawks eventually closed down the perimeter, forcing Kansas State to unsuccessfully drive to the basket, and they slowly trimmed away at their deficit, closing within 44-39 by halftime.

Despite foul trouble, the Jayhawks eventually made it all the way back, taking their first lead since the opening minutes at 59-57 with just under 8 minutes to go. But neither team was willing to give up down the stretch.

That’s why 40 minutes wasn’t enough to decide it.

“The great thing about basketball is we’ll have another game in two days, three days. We can’t dwell on this,” Wilson said quietly. “We have another good team coming up and we’ll see them again. That’s the beauty of the Big 12.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Kansas hung around despite foul trouble, going 24 of 34 on free throws and shooting 6 of 29 from the 3-point arc. The Jayhawks did it by turning around early turnover trouble and effectively getting to the rim on offense, though they weren’t able to do that given one last chance in overtime.

Kansas State relies heavily on Nowell to make things happen, particularly on offense, and his worst games have led to losses. He was held to 13 points by Butler and committed five turnovers against TCU. But despite scoring just four points against Kansas, he piled up seven assists with none more important than the last.

UP NEXT

Kansas returns home to play No. 14 TCU on Saturday. Kansas State plays Texas Tech the same day.