Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jayhawks win battle of top-four teams at Baylor

KU now up 3 games in Big 12

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) pushes the ball up the court past Baylor guard Jake Lindsey (3) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) pushes the ball up the court past Baylor guard Jake Lindsey (3) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.


With the unflinching approach the Kansas basketball team has shown all season long, the Jayhawks took a major step toward the program’s 13th-consecutive Big 12 championship Saturday afternoon, with a 67-65 road victory at Baylor.

Senior point guard and team leader Frank Mason III put up 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, as No. 3 KU (24-3 overall, 12-2 Big 12) took a three-game lead in the conference standings with four regular-season games left on the schedule, sweeping the No. 4 Bears (22-5 overall, 9-5 Big 12).

Kansas only made 42 percent of its shots from the floor at Ferrell Center, and connected on just five of 20 from 3-point range. But the Jayhawks out-scored BU 36-26 in the paint and got baskets when they needed them most, with the game in the balance.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: When crunch time came along, the Jayhawks did what they do best: win.

KU had missed five straight field goals and trailed 63-57 with 4:11 to play. But that didn’t stop them from delivering multiple big plays to close out the game.

First, Mason scored on a layup out of a timeout. Then, freshman Josh Jackson (16 points) drove and finished with a lay-in.

Soon after, Mason dished from near the free-throw line for a vicious, one-handed Jackson jam — set up by a Landen Lucas offensive rebound (one of the senior center’s six on the offensive glass).

Junior guard Devonte’ Graham nailed two free throws to tie it at 65 with 2:16 to play.

Finally, Lucas grabbed another clutch offensive rebound, off a Graham missed 3, with 11 seconds left and went to the free-throw line to nail two tries for the winning points.

Baylor’s last field goal came with 4:18 remaining and the Bears missed their final four shots from the floor.

• Offensive highlight: Mason to Jackson proved to be a recurring electric combination for Kansas.

The first time the two connected in the open floor, Mason lobbed an alley-oop high above the rim as Jackson soared in from the right side to cut Baylor’s early lead to 15-13.

The next time the two had Baylor’s transition defense backpedalling in scramble mode, Mason opted for a drop-off bounce pass and Jackson finished the fast break by rocking the rim with a one-handed jam, making it a 26-23 Bears lead.

The dynamic duo were at it again in the final seconds of the first half, with Mason drawing the attention of the defense at the top of the key to set up Jackson for an NBA-range 3-pointer that allowed KU to enter halftime trailing by just six, despite KU shooting 37.9-percent from the floor in the first half.

A couple minutes into the second half, Mason and Jackson got the Kansas fans in Waco on their feet again, this time by finding a hole in BU’s half-court defense. Mason once more was able to lob a pass up near the backboard and let Jackson do the rest. The senior point guard set it up by driving hard into the paint. Then, on what looked at first like a tear-drop shot, Mason set Jackson up for a powerful two-handed slam, trimming Baylor’s lead to four.

• Defensive highlight: We’ll give this honor to a string of Jackson plays, as well. On top of all his other contributions, the 6-foot-8 wing made himself a rim protector for Kansas.

Jackson swatted away three Baylor attempts in the first half alone — none more impressive than a smack off the backboard when big man Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had initially maneuvered past him inside.

The freshman finished with four blocks, one off his career-high of five (versus Nebraska).

• Key stat: Rebounding. Baylor doubled up on KU on the glass in the first half, out-rebounding the visiting Jayhawks 22-11 in the first 20 minutes.

Kansas did a much better job on the boards in the second half, allowing the defending Big 12 champions to recover in a game in which they trailed by 12 late in the first.

In the final 20 minutes, KU out-rebounded Baylor 16-13.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will get a few days of rest to recover from a week of facing two top-10 teams before returning to Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday to take on TCU (6 p.m., ESPN2).

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Baylor


Brian Mellor 3 years, 3 months ago

Y'all might want to sit down for this, but the fans on ESPN are claiming that the refs treated the losing team unfairly!

RJ King 3 years, 3 months ago

I'd say as always, the calls pretty much even out during the game.

I did think Lucas got fouled at the end (not the jump ball that Drew wanted), and late in the 2nd Baylor got the ball back on an out of bounds play that went off Baylor hands. Even the commentators got that wrong.

I'd give Baylor +1 in the first, Kansas +1 in the second.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 3 months ago

dam, dam dam, guys, I am so sorry. I'm so sorry Brian I wanted to respond to your post agreeing with you and hit the wrong dam thing instead of reply - I hit the flagged button. -- I am sooooooooo sorry. - - You know this crap about the officials having it in with is so old, I told these people hearing that is almost as d as when we play at another teams home floor and seeing a sign that says - YOUR not in Kansas anymore- -REALLY? how long di it take for you to come up with that original Einstein? I mean you would think these people might want to get a little more creative with new signs ya think? - -Again sorry Brian

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

I watched Texas Tech/WVU after the game and heard nothing close to what you're saying.

Tracey Graham 3 years, 3 months ago

Check out the comments forum in the KU-Baylor story on The whiners are out in force. .

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

Okay, I should have read more thoroughly but who cares about the comment section? Still, my mistake.

Brian Mellor 3 years, 3 months ago

Unironically posted in the comments section? ;D

Anyway, it's not a bother, I am just highly amused by ESPN's comments section, where every game of any worth is always deemed to be decided by the refs. I invite you to take the comment in the lighthearted spirit that it was offered, at the end of a hard-fought and well-deserved victory.

Jonathan Allison 3 years, 3 months ago

This is typical in this day and age. The outcome is not what you desired? Complain. Blame. Point Fingers. Protest.

Daniel Kennamore 3 years, 3 months ago

Fantastic win.

All but clinches not only the Big 12 but a 1 seed with a regional in KC.

Just got to take business in our last two home games and not lay an egg at Texas. The Okie State road game is meaningless to us if we do that.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

If you're in the competition for a #1 seed in the NCAA, no games are meaningless.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 3 months ago

Getting out of Tulsa with a likely 2nd round game against the Shockers and getting to play in KC for a chance to be a final for team is huge. Home cooking. Who else would get into the Midwest besides us if we stumble these last 4 conference games?

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 3 months ago

If KU stumbled and dropped a couple between now and Selection Sunday, Arizona, UCLA, or Oregon would be in the mix. Louisville or Wisconsin would also be in the mix.

Mike Riches 3 years, 3 months ago

What a win! Fun game to be at and there were more Kansas fans than I thought there'd be. Best fan base in the country in my completely unbiased opinion. :) Rock chalk!!

Steve Corder 3 years, 3 months ago

There are many fine coaches in the B12, but only one great one.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 3 months ago

wow, what a great comeback. the only good thing about Graham and Svi struggling a bit (don't get me wrong, they are awesome) but I think the talk about them going to the NBA at the end of this year will diminish. Course they could finish strong. I want them back!

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

This team has taken on Mason's tough tenacity as conference play nears its finish. Easily one of Self's toughest teams.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 3 months ago

Jackson punishing the rim and never takes a play off at either end. Svi is in his down spiral still. Vick beings his own stamp to the game but he has issues too. DeVonte made a difference in the game at both ends. We really won this game when LeComte got hurt or at least it turned a bit. And also when JJack sat down in the second half we went up by 5. Then we gave up an 11-0 run similar to the 8-0 in the first half when we tied it at 15 (I think). We need to come out hitting shots for a change. Bragg is trying but even his mid range jumper, which was his best weapon last year, has left him. Frank is POY but lot of love is going to Swanigan and Josh Hart. I was hoping Jackson would have a monster game on network television to get in first team AA consideration. Now it's going to be tough stat wise for him. He still has a chance but will now need something like 24 and 11 a game in the, maybe, next 7 to get around 18 and 8 for the year. He and Frank are pretty sure locks in the Big12 along with Motley, JaWun Evans and Monte Morris. Their are a ton of really good guards in the conference. On our team Josh leads in blocks per game, and steals per game, is second in scoring and rebounding averages and third in assists per game. Bring on TCU.

Tracey Graham 3 years, 3 months ago

What I like most about this year's team is their mental toughness and their ability to win close games. I would really like them stop falling behind by 7+ points early in games, though. And an easy win or two would help out my nerves.

Mike Kendall 3 years, 3 months ago

I really liked KU's crunch time tenacity. They have lost three games this season, two in overtime. Self is an amazing coach (btw, 10 wins away from Roy's winning record at KU) and players know that he has their back. Just so happy for them--licking my chops to buy another Conference Championship T-Shirt. LUCKY NUMBER 13, BABY!

RJ King 3 years, 3 months ago

Twice in a row the stats are an anomaly.

The good: 80% Free Throw +10 Paint 8/2 Blocks

The bad: 42% FG 25% 3-PT -9 Reb Margin

Turnovers and Points-Off about as expected.

Many of our stats were way off season average vs WVU as well (good and bad). So, is it because:

a) numbers even out over course of season?

b) these last two games were match ups against two unique teams?

Or . . .

c) KU's has its own style of play when down in the 2nd half to a very good opponent?

Joe Ross 3 years, 3 months ago

How many wins does Gonzaga have over top 10 teams?


How many does Villanova have over top 10 teams?




I dont know the stats right off, but there is also a question of record against future tournament teams.

What am I getting at here? Kansas has earned the number 1 overall seed, in my opinion. No question about it. Gonzaga hasnt played anybody really. A couple of good teams. But there are about 10 teams in the country right now that could run Gonzaga out of the gym if they ever played head-to-head.

Just sayin.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 3 months ago

I know the zags have some quality wins, but those were early. I just don't think they are a final four team.

Joe Ross 3 years, 3 months ago

I need to correct myself. Kansas has five wins over top 10 teams: Baylor twice, WV, Kentucky, and Duke.

Danny Hernandez 3 years, 3 months ago

That is one-bad ass team, probably the baddest he's ever coached. I bow to Coach Self, he's one smart dude

Mallory Briggans 3 years, 3 months ago

If the committee looks at the body of work no doubt the Jayhawks should be overall number 1 ..........The only thing we have to be concerned with is the infamous EASTCOAST BIAS that would give the nod to Villanova. But I like our chances

RJ King 3 years, 3 months ago

There shouldn't be "East Coast Bias" coming from the selection committee. Its members are from Michigan State, Kentucky, UNC Asheville, BYU, New Mexico, Stanford, Creighton, Northeastern, Ohio U, and Duke.

Mallory Briggans 3 years, 3 months ago

Lets see.........from Waco 600.2 miles .......... from Austin 700.8 miles........... from Lubbuck 662.2 miles........... from Ft worth 512.8 miles........... from Norman 332.4 miles........... from Stillwater 283.5 miles........... from Manhattan 84.6 miles.......... from Ames 268.0 miles......... from Morgantown 900.1 miles.........

THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GOES THROUGH LAWRENCE!!!!!!!!!! Drive Safely ......We'll leave a light on for ya !!!!

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 3 months ago

Just put KU in Tulsa and KC. The NCAA doesn't use the S-curve anymore when placing teams so KU being the 1st or 4th one seed doesn't have much meaning anymore. I really don't care if KU is wearing white or blue in the NCAA tournament, just give them the Tulsa-KC route.

RJ King 3 years, 3 months ago

yes, but don't you think we kind of got screwed playing Villanova when we did last year? I would have much rather faced Oregon in our region.

Bob Bailey 3 years, 3 months ago


You may have made VERY SLIGHT improvement in the published ads! I still can't read the material on the warplanes!!!!

Unnless you are doing it on purpose to drive them off, OK! But that crap from them really doesn/t work out.

K. B

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