Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Tom Keegan: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk a world traveler who got away with one

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10), bottom, is dogsled by his teammates following his game-winning bucket, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10), bottom, is dogsled by his teammates following his game-winning bucket, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk traveled all the way from Ukraine to Lawrence to pursue his dream of becoming an NBA player.

He’s a world traveler, all right, but never had he experienced any travel as memorable as one from Tuesday night that he’ll never forget.

Call the dance step that had 16,300 euphoric spectators dancing into the night the Svi, Svi, Svi.

To execute it, take three quick steps with a basketball in your hands, throw it off the glass and in to win. That’s what Svi did in a hotly contested Big 12 rivalry game at the buzzer.

It doesn’t matter that Svi clearly traveled on the buzzer-beating shot that he banked in. It just matters that the officiating crew didn’t see him travel. Consequently, Kansas defeated Kansas State, 90-88.

We’ll never know who would have won the game had it gone into overtime, we just know that the OT should have been played.

“I think everybody here knows what happened,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “Want to see my phone? ... But it didn’t happen. We had our chances.”

The travel didn’t happen because the refs didn’t call it, but everybody saw it happen.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self talks 90-88 victory over K-State, disappointment with defense

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self discussed the Jayhawks' 90-88 victory over Kansas State on Tuesday, Landen Lucas becoming more consistent and his disappointment with his team's defense.

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It’s not that the refs gift-wrapped Kansas a victory on that non-call. It’s just that K-State was denied a five-minute opportunity to try to win it and end KU’s home-court winning streak, which grew to 50 games overall, 47 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Regardless of the extra steps, Svi made a tough play in a hurry.

“Svi showed some athletic ability at the end,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know if he walked or not. I know everybody said he did, at least I know some people did, so I don’t know. It was still a heck of an athletic play to get all the way to the hole on two bounces.”

That it was. 

Svi looked like a wide receiver dribbling a basketball and then carrying it before putting up the shot.

It ended a possession that started under K-State’s hoop with 5.6 seconds left after a timeout.

The last words Svi heard before being handed the ball under the basket by the referee came out of Devonte’ Graham’s mouth.

“No timeouts (left). No timeouts,” Graham said as he waved his arms in the fashion of an umpire making a safe call.

Kansas State put two men on Frank Mason III and Svi had trouble finding anywhere to throw the ball. He passed it to Graham, flared left and received the ball back from Graham more than 70 feet from the hoop, after K-State left him open. He took two long-stride, power dribbles, picked up the ball and took three choppy steps, creating the Svi, Svi, Svi, certain to become a popular dance in both Kansas and the Ukraine.

“I thought a call was going to be made, but it wasn’t,” K-State center D.J. Johnson said.

Svi banked in a tough shot and immediately was swarmed by teammates.

Moments later, Svi, Landen Lucas and Josh Jackson sat at the table for the post-game press conference. Svi said that he saw the replay. What did he think?

"It was a good basket," Svi said and smiled. Jackson tried to check his laughter, but failed. There was no denying the refs badly blew the call, missing a blatant travel.

Being denied a chance to extend the game five minutes, the improved Wildcats could use the disappointment to play with a chip on their shoulders the rest of the way.

"I hope so," Weber said. "I hope, but we’ve got to get better. That’s my most important thing. I just talked to (KSU broadcaster) Stan Weber and he said the football team, when they missed the field goal at West Virginia, they could go home and pout about it, but K-state football got better and went on a run to finish the season, a real good run that surprised everybody.”

Any team that plays Kansas even in Allen Fieldhouse for 39 minutes and 59 seconds can't count on surprising anybody anymore. Kansas State is a good basketball team playing a conference packed with them. Kansas survived this scare. The potential exists for many more such nights.

By the Numbers: Kansas 90, Kansas State 88.

By the Numbers: Kansas 90, Kansas State 88.

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

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Kansas State


Suzi Marshall 4 years, 10 months ago

No kidding this is Self's worst defensive team...ever. Comparing the Kenpom numbers verify the facts.

I thought Vick was suppose to be one of our better defenders but in this game, he was sleeping all night. Vick was standing around daydreaming and consistently roasted during his 24 minutes. Bragg and Graham also left a lot to be desired. Unless Vick does something to pick up his defensive intensity, his minutes should go down significantly, unless there is foul trouble.

Humpy Helsel 4 years, 10 months ago

Hurry KU band! Learn Gimme Three Steps by Lynard Skynard as fast as you can! Svi's new theme song. Svi for Three has a whole new meaning.

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, we've heard of the Texas Two-Step. Now, we've got the Ukraine Three-Step.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 10 months ago

Here's another 70's reference that is apropos to KU's defense: "It's not my job."

David Brown 4 years, 10 months ago

What's the matter Keegan. Can't stand to see the hawks win ? Oh yeah that's only hawk football right!

John Boyle 4 years, 10 months ago

The officials missed a "blatant" travel by the KSU guard at the top of the key down the stretch as well which would have meant the Jayhawk's wouldn't have needed Svi's last second heroics. There were blown calls both ways all night long. Svi's seems more prevalent because it was the last play of the game but there were many other calls that would have kept KSU at bay that weren't made. I didn't think the crowd was as loud and enthusiastic as usual.

Brian Frederick 4 years, 10 months ago

It's not "the Ukraine." It's just Ukraine.

Kit Duncan 4 years, 10 months ago

After the K-State missed 3, the ball touched the end line at 6 seconds on the clock, but the clock was stopped on the ref's whistle at 5.6. I'm pretty sure they could have reset the clock during their review to determine possession on the inbounds play. As Svi crossed the half court line a KSU player reached in to try and knock the ball away. If KU had been ahead the refs would have called a foul as they usually do when the team that's behind is trying to extend the game. This time they swallowed their whistles on the foul of and subsequent travel by Svi.

Clara Westphal 4 years, 10 months ago

K-State got away with plenty during the game. When Frank was knocked to the floor, there should have been a foul called but none was called.

Thad Daugherty 4 years, 10 months ago

+1 John Boyle K State looked like an ice dancing team out there the way they were sliding their feet.

Patrick Bryant 4 years, 10 months ago

Would be interesting if an unbiased basketball fan would watch the game tape and log each bad or missed call and see how it played out. KSU's hyperactive center sure was physical on his backing down the lane.

Mike Greer 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes, at one point in the second half when Bragg was on the floor, he was backing into Carlton and he just kept backing up, eventually, Carlton just put his hands up as if he couldn't do anything and then got whistled for a foul.

It's tough on the players, at the beginning of the game hair to hair contact was being called, then Johnson backs up into Bragg and pushes him five feet with no foul, what's up with that? And when Bragg stops moving backwards, he gets called.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 10 months ago

Excellent analysis by Mr. Keegan. Everything he says in the article is clearly true. Svi got away with one, but one play does not determine a game's outcome.

Also, have to give a "sportsmanship" tip of the cap to Coach Weber. He took the high road about the obvious missed call by saying that his team just has to get better.

Hopefully, had the game gone into overtime, KU would still have won. Without Johnson down low, KSU's inside game was considerably weaker.

Brian Mellor 4 years, 10 months ago

Watch a segment slowed down to take 5 seconds, that in real time took less than 1, yeah, gonna be a whole lot more obvious.

The part I find funny is how that sort of thing only gets media traction when it goes in favor of the big names. Remember the 3 step, euro-step half court shot by Colorado at their house? Nope. That was a great play. Or more comparably, in Morgantown when Staten pulled up his dribble on the three-point line, completed a spin, and THEN took 3 steps to make a layup? Seem to recall the headlines on that one were mostly about what a gutsy play that was, and if a KU fan dared mention the travel we were called sore losers and told to STFU.

So no, no sympathy and certainly not going to feel sorry about it. But the common notion from other B12 fans that KU owes their wins, streaks, championships to the refs is built on a truly false non-equivalence, that only KU gets the benefit of home-cooking and ref bias. Sure, we could mentally subtract the few games "decided" on blown calls favoring KU, but then we'd have to do the same for all of those other teams in all of their other games, and see how it all adds up, wouldn't we?

Ron Prichard 4 years, 10 months ago

Come on, Brian...that was obvious to anyone watching the game in real time. I am as big a KU fan as anyone, and that missed call was certainly not the only one last night. I have no sympathy for KState and Weber, but I'm not going to try to play it down, either. Yes, there are plays that have gone against us and missed calls that led to us losing games in the past, just as you recall in your post. But this play is no less egregious than those. We need to be able to just acknowledge we caught a break and move on.

Vic Janeway 4 years, 10 months ago

Did anyone notice the hand slap by #25 of ksu, maybe that cause Svi to pull in the ball?! duh!

Kit Duncan 4 years, 10 months ago

I mentioned the reach-in that went uncalled because the score was tied. Had KU been ahead it likely would have been called just as most ticky-tac fouls are called in the last minute of the game when the team that is behind wants to extend the game. On the other hand I have seen refs swallow their whistles when a player is driving to the hoop as the clock is about to expire. It might be that the refs were expecting someone to step into the lane in front of Svi, worried more about having to decide if a blocking foul or a charge occurred, instead of watching Svi's feet.

Kit Duncan 4 years, 10 months ago

Just watched the finish again and I think it's possible the two refs (one on the side and one under the basket) were screened just enough by KSU players from seeing the travel. The third ref was running from the inbounds end and was not close enough to the play to see it either. We will probably never know what the refs did or didn't see. Just glad to have the win.

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