In a game appropriate for two of the winningest men's basketball programs in NCAA history, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, 65-59, Sunday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
"... I don't know if I've been part of one bigger than that, ever," KU coach Bill Self said. "Guys wanted it so bad .... How we played the second half was remarkable."
C.J. Giles scored the first basket of the game on a fast-break layup, and KU took a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes before Kentucky scored the next seven points.
Kentucky then missed its next nine shots and Kansas battled to a 15-9 lead, but the Wildcats then scored 14 of the next 16 points and took a 23-17 lead in the final moments of the first half and led 25-21 at halftime.
Kansas scored the first four points of the second half, tying the game at 25-all, and the game was tied at 28-all and 30-all before KU took a 38-33 lead about six minutes in.
The Jayhawks extended their lead to as many as seven points two times (40-33 and 44-37) over the next few minutes, before the Wildcats closed to within a point, 45-44 with about eight minutes left.
Kansas then went on a 7-0 run, but Kentucky answered with 9-0 spurt that gave the Wildcats a 53-52 lead. Kansas answered with the next four points, though.
The Jayhawks held on for the victory with free throws and a shot-clock-beating three-pointer by Michael Lee despite suffering a rash of injuries late. Keith Langford sitting out the final few minutes after appearing to hit his head on the floor going for a loose ball, and Christian Moody also missed the end of the game with what appeared to be an injured ankle.
Giles had 10 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 5:20 left in the second half. Aaron Miles had five points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals, and Keith Langford had 10 points and seven boards.
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Christian Moody had 11 points, seven boards and three fouls, Sasha Kaun had two fouls and Alex Galindo had five points, four boards and four blocks. Lee had seven points, and Russell Robinson had three fouls.
J.R. Giddens had 10 points and five rebounds, and Sasha Kaun had seven points, four rebounds and four fouls.
Patrick Sparks had 10 points for the Wildcats, Kelenna Azubuike had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had six points and five steals.
Chuck Hayes had eight points, 12 boards and four fouls, Randolph Morris had three points, five rebounds and three fouls, and Ramel Bradley had two points. Bobby Perry had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Ravi Moss had eight points.
Kansas was 21-of-53 shooting from the field, including 4-of-16 from long distance, and 19-of-25 shooting from the foul line. The Jayhawks turned the ball over 21 times.
Kentucky was 21-of-68 shooting from the field, including 6-of-26 from three-point range, and 11-of-19 from the charity stripe. The Wildcats turned the ball 13 times.
¢ The announced attendance of 24,367 was the second-most ever at Rupp Arena.
All stats are unofficial.