FINAL: Kings of the Big 12! KU takes conference title with 72-64 victory over KSU

Confetti pours over the Kansas Jayhawks as they hoist the Big 12 Tournament trophy after defeating Kansas State 72-64 Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

Confetti pours over the Kansas Jayhawks as they hoist the Big 12 Tournament trophy after defeating Kansas State 72-64 Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

Originally published March 13, 2010 at 4:25 p.m., updated March 13, 2010 at 8:52 p.m.

KU vs. K-State

Box Score

Kansas takes Big 12 tournament title

The Kansas University men's basketball team will enter the NCAA tournament on a high note after defeating Kansas State to take the Big 12 tournament title.

Audio clips

Big 12 championship: KU-KSU

Reader poll

Assuming Duke is the fourth No. 1 seed, which team do you not want to see as a No. 2 seed in KU's bracket?

  • West Virginia 25% 771 votes
  • Ohio State 16% 497 votes
  • Purdue 13% 420 votes
  • New Mexico 5% 175 votes
  • Kansas State 29% 899 votes
  • Villanova 7% 223 votes
  • Other 2% 82 votes

3067 total votes.

GameDay Cram Session: KU vs. KSU

KUSports.com online editor Jesse Newell and Big 12 blogger Eric Sorrentino preview the Big 12 tournament championship matchup between Kansas and Kansas State, live from Kansas City's Power and Light District.

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Reader poll

Which Morris twin will score more points against Kansas State?

  • Marcus Morris 79% 54 votes
  • Markieff Morris 17% 12 votes
  • Undecided 2% 2 votes

68 total votes.

KU scoring — Marcus Morris 18, Reed 15, Collins 12, Aldrich 10, Markieff Morris 7, X. Henry 4, Taylor 3, Morningstar 3.

KU was 23-for-52 from the floor (44.2 percent), 2-for-8 from three (25 percent) and 24-for-31 from the free-throw line (77.4 percent).

KSU was 24-for-69 from the floor (34.8 percent), 8-for-22 from three (36.4 percent) and 8-for-14 from the free-throw line (57.1 percent).

KU out-rebounded KSU, 41-37. KU had 11 turnovers to KSU’s five.

FINAL: KU defeats KSU, 72-64

Horrible sequence for Collins, who loses control of a shot then fouls Pullen. Self grabs his forehead. KSU will have a chance to score with no time running off the clock.

Pullen misses the front end of the one-and-one, though, and Aldrich pulls down the board.

Reed is fouled, but he misses both free throws. Clemente flies down the court for a layup to cut KU’s lead to six.

Marcus Morris steps to the line with 35.5 seconds left, and he makes the first free throw. He misses the second, and Aldrich goes over the back for the quick whistle. That’s his fifth foul and will give KSU more chances at points with the clock stopped. The Jayhawks haven’t played smart down the stretch in this one.

Kelly misses the front end of the one-and-one, but KSU gets the rebound. Clemente fires up a high-arcing three, but it bounds hard off the back iron. Markieff skies to bring down the rebound, and he’s fouled immediately.

Markieff makes a free throw, and after a missed Pullen three, Collins grabs the rebound and runs out the clock.

KU wins the Big 12 tournament championship with a 72-64 victory over KSU.

KU 70/KSU 62 — 1:03 left in game

Curtis Kelly has a shot blocked by Aldrich, but a foul call comes from the backside official. “That’s not your call!” Self screams across the court.

KU beats the KSU full-court press, and Collins catches the ball at full speed. He takes the ball to the rim, ducks under a defender, and finishes with a layup on the other side of the rim.

Kelly is fouled again, this time by Markieff. KU would be better off letting Kelly take whatever hook shot he wants to take inside. The KSU forward makes both free throws.

Reed misses a floater in the lane, and in transition, Samuels is left wide open for a three. All the KU fans gasp at the same time. The attempt is short, though, and a hustling Marcus Morris throws his body into the lane for the defensive rebound.

On the other end, Reed feeds Marcus Morris with a low bounce pass, and Marcus fades to his back shoulder for a tough turnaround off the glass. That’s a big change of momentum there.

Pullen loses control of a shot inside, and KU comes away with the board. With his team leading by eight with 1:03 left, Self calls timeout.

KU 66/KSU 58 — 3:16 left in game

Markieff Morris with an errant pass, and KU is whistled for a backcourt violation. The Jayhawks would have had an opportunity to go up either 10 or 11 on that possession.

Pullen is starting to take over for KU, though. He uses a slick crossover move on the baseline to clear space before putting in a 16-footer over Aldrich, then follows the next possession with a three.

Collins pushes the ball off the make, finding Reed in the corner. The shot misses, but Clemente with a big mistake, as he fouls Reed to give him three free throws. Reed makes all of them. He really seems to save his best games for KSU and Missouri.

Pullen drives and draws a foul. His free throws give him seven straight KSU points since the media timeout.

KU is matching KSU blow for blow on the offensive end, though. After breaking the press, Xavier Henry is fed a pass on a baseline cut, and he makes two free throws after getting fouled. Let’s not overlook KU’s 19-for-22 shooting (86.4 percent) from the free-throw line.

Aldrich comes down with a KSU miss, and Collins delivers an NBA move on the other end, spinning in the lane before throwing in an eight-foot floater. Martin calls timeout, as the Jayhawks are up double digits for the first time today.

After the break, Collins comes away with a steal, and he fires ahead to Reed for a layup. KU’s fans rise to their feet.

Samuels is keeping KSU within striking distance. He hits two consecutive three-pointers, and those are huge shots for the Wildcats.

KU 53/KSU 45 — 7:48 left in game

Morningstar once again comes up with a composed play for KU, keeping his dribble alive until a KSU defender stops him. No one does, so Morningstar takes it all the way to the rim for a layup that is goaltended.

KSU cuts it to four, but Reed answers with a three from the wing. KU has done a good job of keeping K-State from making a big run.

Marcus Morris makes one of two free throws, and KU has pushed its lead back to eight.

KU 45/KSU 41 — 11:26 left in game

The pace has picked up, and so has the scoring.

Pullen puts in a floater. Markieff grabs an offensive rebound and puts in the stickback. Markieff follows with two more free throws.

Xavier Henry comes up with a block, and it starts the break for KU. Taylor puts in a free throw with a foul, and KU has grabbed some momentum.

It doesn’t last long. Jamar Samuels buries a three, and Clemente grabs a steal, gliding his way across the basket for a layup. Self calls timeout with KU’s lead down to two.

The Jayhawks execute perfectly out of the break, as Morningstar lobs to Marcus Morris for an alley-oop layup.

Morningstar comes up with the play offensively the next time down for KU, as he dribbles under the basket to find Aldrich for a dunk with a foul. Aldrich screams out his satisfaction, while Morningstar — with no emotion — walks toward the backcourt. Collins screams at Morningstar to congratulate him, making him at least offer a chest-bump to celebrate.

Clemente answers for KSU. He tries to draw a foul on a three-point attempt, contorting his body toward the defender on his shot. Reed doesn’t touch Clemente, but the off-balanced, circus shot still goes through. Unlucky break for the Jayhawks.

KU 35/KSU 28 — 15:56 left in game

KU is hitting the offensive glass more aggressively in the second half, as Marcus Morris and Aldrich both get their hands on rebounds.

Unfortunately for KU, that aggressiveness isn’t translating to the defensive boards. KU misses a box-out twice, though it doesn’t end up costing the Jayhawks, as Sutton misses a pair of free throws.

Marcus Morris uses a nice baseline move to get to the rim for a layup, then on the next possession, shoots in a baseline jumper over a defender. KSU calls timeout, as KU has its largest lead at eight.

Another three-second-in-the-lane call on KU. The Jayhawks have to be the nation’s leader in that call.

Higgins isn’t making any friends on the KU bench. He calls Marcus Morris for a charge on a move toward the basket. Self starts screaming at Higgins, and so do the KU fans.

KU scoring — Marcus Morris 8, Collins 8, Reed 5, Aldrich 5, Markieff Morris 2, X. Henry 2, Morningstar 1.

KU was 11-for-29 from the floor (37.9 percent), 1-for-3 from three-point range (33.3 percent) and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line (80 percent).

KSU was 12-for-38 from the floor (31.6 percent), 3-for-10 from three (30 percent) and 0-for-0 at the free-throw line.

KU had four turnovers, while KSU had three. KSU had 23 first-half rebounds, while KU had 22.

Halftime thoughts

No free throws for the Wildcats? This is a team averaging nearly 31 free throws per game. Great job by the Jayhawks in that regard.

KU’s perimeter defenders also have played well so far. Jacob Pullen is just 1-for-7 for two points, while Denis Clemente is 3-for-9.

No Jayhawk had more than four first-half rebounds. Aldrich had just three, and he needs to be better inside grabbing those loose caroms. We’ve seen him be dominant in the paint against the Wildcats earlier this season, but we have yet to see that today.

KU 31/KSU 27 — Halftime

Not a smart play by Aldrich, who barrels into the lane with a drive before trying to kick it out. The big man knocks over a Wildcat, and officials make the easy charge call. That’s two fouls on Aldrich, and those are the type of whistles your big men have to avoid.

Thomas Robinson tries to do too much offensively, putting up two consecutive shots in the lane that are rejected. Self looks frustrated.

Once again, KU pulls off perfect execution of a two-for-one at the end of the half. Collins drives around a screen, putting in a quick layup with 45 seconds left on the clock. KU will have the last possession.

Robinson doesn’t step out far enough on a screen, and Clemente hits the open three. Poor help defense there by the Jayhawks.

Collins is fouled on a drive, and he makes both free throws. Self checks in Conner Teahan for Robinson to avoid a potential foul.

Rodney McGruder puts in a stickback at the halftime buzzer. The officials originally count it, but after looking at the replay, they make the correct call and wave the basket off.

KU takes a four-point lead into the break.

KU 27/KSU 22 — 3:18 left in 1st half

Sutton gets the ball inside, but he hesitates before taking the shot. Though Cole Aldrich isn’t in the game, I swear Sutton was looking to see where KU’s big man was.

Pullen misses a shot, but Sutton sticks the rebound back in for two. KU had two guys trying to block Pullen’s shot but no one staying home to rebound. Sutton grabs his shoulder after making the layup.

Collins grabs a loose ball, and he finishes among the big men for two.

Self goes back to the Triangle-and-Two defense that has been effective against KSU earlier this year. The big key for KU is rebounding well out of the set defense.

Collins dumps inside to Aldrich, and he rolls a short shot in over a defender.

Aldrich makes a lazy pass that is tipped out of bounds by K-State. Self nearly screams, but he pins his lips together and fights the urge.

KU 19/KSU 16 — 7:49 left in 1st half

Xavier Henry has a shot blocked, but Marcus Morris comes through with a ridiculously athletic play, catching the ball and hurling it towards the rim. The ball banks off the glass and goes through.

Collins draws a foul, and Martin marches over to grab his water bottle. Looks like he’s about a split second from chucking it towards the bench before regaining his cool.

Taylor misses a tough shot, but Marcus Morris is there for the stickback. Might not be a bad strategy for KU’s guards to take most of the shots with KU’s big men working on getting rebounding position inside.

Collins with a long alley-oop pass, and Xavier Henry slams it down. KU’s offense looked much better during that four-minute stretch between media timeouts.

KU 11/KSU 11 — 11:23 left in 1st half

Two blocks from KU (one from Marcus Morris, one from Tyshawn Taylor) extend KSU’s field-goal drought. The Wildcats start 0-for-11 before Wally Judge finally puts in a tip-in at the 14:43 mark.

KSU is being extremely physical defensively. KU is having trouble making any passes, much less running its sets.

Markieff Morris makes a tough baseline shot. KU might have to rely on jump shots if it can’t figure out a better way to attack KSU’s overpursuing defense.

Morningstar picks Clemente’s pocket, and he draws a blocking foul on his shot attempt. Clemente doesn’t like it, and he waves his hand in the air toward the official. The KSU senior is lucky to have avoided a technical foul for his show of frustration.

Clemente hides behind a screen and buries a deep three. Nothing complicated about that play.

Tyrel Reed answers with a guarded three of his own on the other end, getting a friendly roll off the rim and backboard. It looks like KU has the friendly rim (and KSU has the unfriendly rim) in the first half.

KU 5/KSU 0 — 15:52 left in 1st half

Eric Sorrentino notes something interesting early: KSU has 6-foor-5 Dominique Sutton guarding KU’s Sherron Collins. That means Denis Clemente is guarding the much bigger Xavier Henry. Interesting decision by KSU coach Frank Martin. I would guess he's trying to make it tougher for Collins to score over length.

The biggest mismatch for KU offensively is still Cole Aldrich against Luis Colon. KU’s first three points come from Aldrich, as he’s fouled inside and also puts in a short baseline shot.

KSU can’t get anything to go down. Even the short shots are missing.

Jacob Pullen misses a three, and Martin is furious. “Pass the (bleepity-bleep) ball,” Martin yells across the court to Pullen.

KSU has started out 0-for-8 from the floor.

5:13 p.m.

Though I was expecting the crowd noise to be about equal, the KU fans have been much louder in the pregame festivities.

Will the KU fans keep their noise level up during the game? That doesn't always happen in Kansas City for some reason.

4:48 p.m.

You still have time to check out the Cram Session. I just posted it on the left side of this page.

4:24 p.m.

Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you live from Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., where the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks are getting set to take on the No. 9 Kansas State Wildcats.

There are so many storylines in this one. Jacob Pullen vs. Sherron Collins. Kansas State trying to win its first Big 12 basketball championship. KU trying to finish off a sweep of the season series.

We know this for sure: The game will be physical and most likely will involve a lot of fouls (especially because KU has drawn John Higgins as an official for a second straight game).

The Jayhawks were able to avoid fouling against Texas A&M on Friday, and they need to do the same against Kansas State today.

I'll go with KU in this one, but I expect a close game. Give me KU by two (Let's go 75-73). Though KU might have more fans here today, I'm expecting the noise level to be fairly even, as K-State fans have been extremely loud throughout this tournament.

Be sure to vote in the poll at the left and use the hashtag #kubball to have your Tweets appear on the left side of this page. KUsports.com Big 12 blogger Eric Sorrentino is sitting next to me, and he'll be Tweeting there under the name Big12_Spotlight. Be sure to join in the conversation with him.