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Tale of the Tait

The Day After: Almost at Oklahoma

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) guards Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) at the basket during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) guards Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) at the basket during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday. by Mike Yoder

Whether you want to talk about the defensive breakdown in the final seconds or the fact that a short-handed KU team nearly walked out of Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday with a surprising victory, the so-called meaningless final game of the regular season gave us plenty of material.

The Jayhawks clearly are and should be proud of the effort they put forth without Perry Ellis (knee), Cliff Alexander (eligibility) and Brannen Greene (suspension), three regular rotation guys who missed the game. But one of the best signs for this up-and-down KU team was that no one walked out of there feeling too good about the moral victory.

Landen Lucas and Frank Mason, who both played fantastic games, focused on the bottom line — a loss — and Bill Self said he was pleased with the team's effort but not as pleased with its execution.

In many ways, that's a best case scenario right now. Had KU won, some of those execution breakdowns might have been easier to overlook or, at the very least, might not have had the same impact. Instead, the Jayhawks lost and came away from the game hellbent on tightening those areas up instead of feeling too good about coming oh-so-close in difficult circumstances.

That's the kind of adversity that tends to pop up from here on out, and this team, at least to me, seems as focused as it's been all season.

Quick takeaway

It remains to be seen how well the Jayhawks will play this postseason, but you can't question the fact that they're ready. The past three games — two victories and one loss — have all resembled Big 12 or NCAA Tournament games, with both teams fighting and scrapping for every possession, point or advantage they could get. The two victories were at home and the Jayhawks won't have that advantage the rest of the way. But Sprint Center is close to home and their showing at Oklahoma, without three regulars, has to at least be a little encouraging when they think about playing away from Allen Fieldhouse.

Three reasons to smile

1 – You can't say enough good things about what Landen Lucas did on Saturday. He was a monster on the glass, he played tough on both ends of the floor and, seemingly out of nowhere, even gave KU an offensive presence in the post that was missing with Ellis out. Lucas' confidence and production are rising to new heights every time out, which can only help this team in the win-or-go-home weeks ahead. Lucas played a team-high 33 minutes in the loss to OU and showed, as long as he continues to play like that, that he can give productive minutes not just fill in as a stop-gap option.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) grabs a 2nd-half rebound during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Norman.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) grabs a 2nd-half rebound during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Norman. by Mike Yoder

2 – KU's offensive rebounding was insane... at least early. The Jayhawks grabbed 16 offensive boards total in this one and had 14 of them by late in the first half. Landen Lucas grabbed six offensive boards by himself and Kelly Oubre (3) and Hunter Mickelson (2) also chipped in to give KU multiple extra possessions. OU coach Lon Kruger tweaked his rebounding match-ups in the second half, which emphasized big guys blocking out instead of helping on the drives of KU's guards, and that kept Kansas from adding to its total. Still, had the Jayhawks not done that kind of work on the glass, they probably would've been down double figures at halftime instead of just two.

Kansas center Hunter Mickelson (42) blocks a shot  attempt by Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler during the Jayhawks game Saturday, March 7, 2015 against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.

Kansas center Hunter Mickelson (42) blocks a shot attempt by Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler during the Jayhawks game Saturday, March 7, 2015 against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. by Mike Yoder

3 – Even though he wound up getting the game-winning tip-in, KU's guards did a good job of making OU junior Buddy Hield work for his 18 points. Hield shot just 6-of-20 from the floor and even though Wayne Selden did next to nothing offensively, his work, in limited time, guarding Hield was very valuable. Every shot Hiled took was contested — he was 2-of-7 from three-point range — and he only got to the free throw line five times, making four. If there was an issue here, it was the fact that Hield got seven boards, one of which won the game.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – Brannen Greene's last-minute suspension is a real problem. Not only did it hurt KU's chances on Saturday — Greene likely would've gotten most if not all of the 13 minutes Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk played and given his experience may have knocked down an extra shot or two that Svi missed, which could have changed the outcome — but it's also a recurring problem. Self suspended Greene for “just being irresponsible,” and every time the guy has been in trouble during his two years at KU so far, that has been the basic reason behind it.

Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham (4) and Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard (10) race to a loose ball in the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday in Norman.

Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham (4) and Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard (10) race to a loose ball in the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday in Norman. by Mike Yoder

2 – Those who want to will blame the ankle injury, and that's a legit excuse especially when you consider it limited him to just 18 minutes, but Wayne Selden's confidence has to be a concern right now. He missed all seven shots he took, including a pair from behind the arc, and did not score a point or grab a rebound. There are enough other options, especially when Ellis returns, for this team to overcome Selden's struggles, but one can't help but wonder what it would look like if he were clicking.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) hits his 3rd free-throw in a row after being fouled on a 3-point attempt late in the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) hits his 3rd free-throw in a row after being fouled on a 3-point attempt late in the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday. by Mike Yoder

3 – It's a shame that the Jayhawks' defense on Oklahoma's final possession took away from the fantastic play call and clutch free throws by Frank Mason that tied the game. After watching the replay a few times, several guys were way too passive on that final drive by Jordan Woodard. It's a tough spot to be in because you definitely don't want to foul, but you can't allow a guy to split two defenders and get an open look either. Mykhailiuk came over to challenge the shot after Woodard got by Mason and Oubre and that left Hield all alone to crash the rim for the game-winner. The only good thing to come from the failure to get a stop was that the Jayhawks were absolutely sick about it. That might be what it takes to help get it fixed.

One for the road

KU's loss at Oklahoma in the regular season finale:

• Marked the first time in 10 years that the Jayhawks dropped three-straight regular-season conference road games. In late 2005, KU lost at Texas Tech (80-79, 2OT, 2/14/05), at Oklahoma (71-63, 2/21/05) and at Missouri (72-68, 3/6/05).

• Made Kansas 24-7 overall and 13-5 in Big 12 play, its lowest conference win total since going 13-3 in 2005-06.

• Dropped KU's all-time series lead vs. Oklahoma to 142-66, including 50-42 in Norman.

• Moved Self to 349-76 while at Kansas, 14-5 against Oklahoma (14-3 while at KU) and 556-181 overall.

• Made KU 2,150-829 all-time.

Next up

The Jayhawks will head to Kansas City, Missouri, where they'll open play in the Big 12 tournament at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Sprint Center as the top seed against the winner of the Wednesday game between the conference's No. 8 (Kansas State) and No. 9 (TCU) seeds.

By the Numbers: Oklahoma beats Kansas, 75-73

By the Numbers: Oklahoma beats Kansas, 75-73

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Spring dates and other KU football notes

With temperatures warming and March Madness nearly upon us, those in the Kansas University football program have turned their eyes toward upcoming spring practices.

First-year KU coach David Beaty announced earlier this week that the Jayhawks would kick off their 15-practice spring schedule on March 24. Beaty's first spring in charge of the program will wrap up with the April 25 spring game, scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium.

Portions of the spring practices will be open to the media and both Beaty and his assistant coaches will be available for interviews. According to the schedule released by KU earlier this week, no players will be made available to the media this spring.

Beaty and the Jayhawks enter the spring will all kinds of questions to answer and holes to fill. Although quarterback Michael Cummings distinguished himself as the better option in 2014, the battle for the starting job in 2015 appears to be an open competition. In addition, KU lost nearly all of its pass catchers and questions remain about the make-up and talent of the offensive line.

Returning running backs Corey Avery, De'Andre Mann and Taylor Cox highlight the known commodities on the KU offense.

Defensively, the Jayhawks will be looking to replace three of the five starters in the secondary along with productive defensive linemen Keon Stowers, Michael Reynolds and Tedarian Johnson, and, of course, all-Big 12 linebacker Ben Heeney.

That leaves both questions and opportunities all over the field for Clint Bowen's defense.

Several KU assistant coaches have taken to Twitter recently to announce their excitement for the upcoming spring drills and the theme of the program, at least for now, seems to be "earn it" as several recent Tweets have been accompanied by the hashtag #earnit.

Shepherd honored again

Falling under the “stop me if you've heard this one” category, former KU cornerback JaCorey Shepherd is in line to collect some more hardware for his off-the-field efforts. Shepherd, a senior from Mesquite, Texas, has been named one of 15 KU Men of Merit for 2015.

According to the release, the group includes “students, faculty and staff positively defining masculinity through challenging norms, taking action and leading by example while making contributions to university and/or the community.”

Shepherd is on schedule to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in management and leadership with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

He is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree and a four-time Athletic Director's Honor Roll member. He recently was named the Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award and Haier Achievement Award winner and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He took home the Rock Chalk Choice Award for Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role and was the KU nominee for the 2013-14 Big 12 Conference Male Sportsperson of the Year. Shepherd is also active in the community through Big Brothers, Big Sisters where he has established a relationship with a "little brother" Christopher and at local schools where he volunteers as a reader and at carnivals, field days and football clinics.

A reception celebrating this year's Men of Merit honorees will take place Monday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union.

McDougald inks with Bucs Former KU safety Bradley McDougald, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013, has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Wednesday.

McDougald, who became a starter for Tampa Bay toward the end of last season, logged 42 tackles (36 solo) during the final six weeks of 2014. New Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith raved about McDougald down the stretch last season and several outlets who cover the Buccaneers believe McDougald is in position to enter 2015 as the team's starting strong safety.

McDougald is one of four former KU defensive backs making significant contributions for their current NFL teams. Chris Harris and Aqib Talib are starting cornerbacks in Denver and Darrell Stuckey, a back-up safety and special teams captain in San Diego, just earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Powlus back at Notre Dame Former KU quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus, who once starred and later coached at Notre Dame, has returned to his alma mater in an off-the-field role on Brian Kelly's staff.

Powlus, earlier this week, was named the Fighting Irish's director of player development. Before coming to Kansas to work for former KU coach Charlie Weis, Powlus was an assistant at Notre Dame and Akron.

During his playing days at Notre Dame, he set 20 school records from 1994-97.

Reply 7 comments from Texashawk10_2 Kingfisher Jonathan Briles David Meredith Doug Merrill Michael Lorraine

Former KU pole vaulter Jordan Scott going for gold… and green

Jordan Scott competes in the pole vault event during the Kansas Relays Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Jordan Scott competes in the pole vault event during the Kansas Relays Friday at Memorial Stadium. by John Young

For most people, the next summer Olympics, set for 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, remain in the distant future.

But not for former Kansas University pole vaulter Jordan Scott, a Watkinsville, Georgia, native and 2011 KU grad who hopes to make the U.S. Olympic team for the first time.

Scott, who recently stepped away from his full-time job in the KU Athletics IT department in order to focus all of his time on training for the Olympic trials, currently is in the middle of a fund-raising effort similar to the Kickstarter campaigns used by musicians, filmmakers, artists, designers and actors.

Through rallyme.com, Scott hopes to raise $20,000 by March 17 that will aid his training expenses for the next year or so — $12,000 for travel expenses for practice and competitions, $5,000 for monthly training trips to work with his coach in Knoxville, Tennessee, and $3,000 for training equipment, which includes turning his garage in Lawrence into a weight room.

Scott came across the rallyme.com idea with help from AthleteBiz, an organization that helps promote and support track athletes across the country.

“It's such a different sport than football or basketball,” Scott said of track and field. “We're not really part of teams, but that's an organization that tries to rally support. The rallyme.com idea is for athletes and teams in sports. It's relatively new and I don't know many other track athletes who have done it.”

As of Thursday morning, Scott had reached 27 percent of his goal.

Finding the money for proper training is only half of the battle. After that, Scott would still have to make the team. He reached the final round of Olympic qualifying in both 2008 and 2012 but came up just short in the finals. However, he spent the past year ranked in the Top 5 nationally among all male pole vaulters and believes he's in the best vaulting shape of his life. Twenty-four vaulters are selected for the qualifying round and 12 of those go on to the finals. From there, the top three make the Olympic team and two others sign on as alternates.

“My goal is to win a medal in the Olympics,” Scott said. “But obviously my first goal is to get there.”

Kansas pole vaulter Jordan Scott had a special hairdo for the Kansas Relays on Friday, April 22, 2011.

Kansas pole vaulter Jordan Scott had a special hairdo for the Kansas Relays on Friday, April 22, 2011. by Kevin Anderson

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The Day After: Revenge against West Virginia

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) hoists a Big 12 championship t-shirt after the Jayhawks defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) hoists a Big 12 championship t-shirt after the Jayhawks defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said it best when trying to explain how his Mountaineers lost Tuesday night's game at Allen Fieldhouse, 76-69 in overtime to a Kansas team that did not lead one time in the entire second half.

Forearms on the table, shoulders slumped, head staring down, Huggins said simply, “There's just some things that happened that you can't explain.”

Several of the “things” Huggins was referencing were miscues by his team. Missed free throws in crucial moments, the full-court pass that went out of bounds late, an air-balled three-pointer in transition when the right play would've been to milk the clock and others. Huggins lamented all of those hiccups and more after watching his team cough up an 18-point lead to Kansas that helped the Jayhawks clinch Big 12 title No. 11 in a row outright.

But there was another part of Tuesday's game that no one in the West Virginia locker room wanted to talk about, and it's the one thing that has been consistent for this inconsistent Kansas team all season long — the Jayhawks benefited from playing in an incredible atmosphere full of fans who did their part to will the team to victory.

Generally speaking, I'm a believer that it's the players — and to a lesser degree the coaches — who decide the outcome of games and nothing else. But it's hard to argue with the fact that the noise, intensity and intimidation that bounced off the Allen Fieldhouse walls in those final frenzied minutes had to have at least some kind of impact on West Virginia letting its lead slip away. Huggins did not buy that either, saying, “I don't know what the building has to do with anything to be honest with you,” but whether he agreed with it really did not matter.

You could see it on the faces of the West Virginia players. The impact showed up in the plays they made and did not make down the stretch. And, as Huggins mentioned, that might be one of the only ways to explain some of those “things” that cost the Mountaineers, who played an incredible game and did so without two veteran starters.

West Virginia coach Bobby Huggins reacts to turnover near the end of regulation during the Jayhawks win against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

West Virginia coach Bobby Huggins reacts to turnover near the end of regulation during the Jayhawks win against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Quick takeaway

This is a weird team with a lot of holes, a couple of significant issues and less depth than anyone expected it would have when the season began. But confidence can be a funny thing, and the way the Jayhawks won the last two games — down-to-the-wire home wins over Texas and West Virginia — has to have this team feeling good about its chances to find a way to win against anybody. KU showed more toughness in closing out both of those games than it has at just about any point this season. More important than that, the Jayhawks won Tuesday's game without getting much from injured leading scorer Perry Ellis. KU has trailed at halftime in 12 games this season, including the past three. But the Jayhawks have found a way to win most of those, with toughness being the key ingredient in all three comebacks. KU is a much different team at home than it is anywhere else, but with the rest of the season — however long it goes — coming away from Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks will have to channel the fight and ferocious play that they put forth to win the past two games to help get them through the next couple of weeks. Luckily for the Jayhawks, those two games, what worked and what didn't and the confidence and pride that came from both results will be fresh in their minds.

Three reasons to smile

1 – For the second game in a row, KU coach Bill Self turned the Jayhawks' offense into the simplest possible style when he told his team to just drive it, just drive it. Frank Mason, Devonte' Graham, Kelly Oubre and even Jamari Traylor did just that and the Mountaineers struggled to stop it. That style, which led to 42 points in the paint (on 21 total field goals) and 43 free throw attempts, helped KU get easy points — and I say easy because they were close to the rim, not because they were wide-open, uncontested shots — and cut into the Mountaineers' lead both with high-percentage plays and with the clock sopped in crucial moments.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) drives around West Virginia forward Devin Williams (5) during the Jayhawks game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) drives around West Virginia forward Devin Williams (5) during the Jayhawks game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

2 – I'm not sure KU would've won this game without Hunter Mickelson. His numbers were modest, though very solid and unexpected for him, but it was his energy, effort and fearless attitude early that helped keep KU in the game. With the rest of the team struggling with turnovers, missed jumpers and frustrated by West Virginia's tough, physical and intense defense, Mickelson picked up a couple of loose balls for buckets, grabbed a a couple of rebounds and even blocked a shot to help show the rest of the Jayhawks the way. He finished with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals in 13 minutes and just might have made a case for a little more playing time in the near future. He's still a step slow at times, but he's long, athletic and moves well. I can't help but think those traits for a handful of minutes will come in handy against at least one or two of KU's next few opponents, perhaps starting with Saturday at Oklahoma.

Kansas center Hunter Mickelson (42) knocks the ball loose to create a steal against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Hunter Mickelson (42) knocks the ball loose to create a steal against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

3 – There was a significant mental edge gained by the Jayhawks on Tuesday night that could help this team big time in the near future. After Devonte' Graham hit 2 free throws to tie the game at 59 with 11.5 seconds to play, West Virginia had the ball and a chance to win. A couple of weeks ago, when KU was in the same position against this same team — needing a late stop for a shot at victory — Juwan Staten got to the rim and hit the game-winner. Staten was not in uniform on Tuesday night, so there's no telling what would've happened if he had been out there. But KU's defense came up with the stop in the final seconds this time, thanks to a big-time contest of a three-pointer by Frank Mason and a blocked shot by Landen Lucas on the rebound. Coming through in that situation not only helps build KU's confidence but also can essentially wipe out or at least make the failed first attempt a wash.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – There's no two ways about it: The Perry Ellis injury is a major concern for this team. KU coach Bill Self sounded encouraged that Ellis would be able to return in time for the Big 12 tournament next week, but will he be 100 percent? Even though KU is saying it's just a sprained knee, Ellis' return to the lineup, whenever it comes, does not necessarily mean he'll pick up where he left off when he injured the knee. The only hint of a silver lining here is that KU will have a couple of games under its belt without him to get used to not being able to count on the Wichita junior for everything the way they had in the previous three or four games prior to Tuesday night.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor, right, celebrates a late basket in overtime against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor, right, celebrates a late basket in overtime against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

2 – Because of their versatile collection of talented athletes, the Jayhawks can play a number of different styles. But it seems clear that the one style this team does not enjoy is the physical, in-your-face style that the Mountaineers hit them with on Tuesday night. That's not to say KU can't get physical, it just doesn't seem like it likes to play that way. Given that the Big 12 tournament figures to be a dogfight and the NCAA Tournament features physical, all-out intensity from start to finish, KU's going to have to find more comfort in playing that way if it hopes to make a run, and, again, the result of these past two games could and should go a long way in helping them get there.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) battles for a rebound during the Jayhawks game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) battles for a rebound during the Jayhawks game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Tuesday, March 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

3 – Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene continue to struggle offensively. Selden, who shot just 2-for-7 and finished with 4 points on Tuesday night, has done enough away from the offensive end to make up for his shortcomings there throughout the season. But Greene's s struggles with his outside shot stretched into another game and have to be a concern. Greene is 0 for 11 from three-point range in the past three games and 2 for 19 in past six games. Even with that being the case, he still possesses that kind of shot that you think is going in every time if he gets an open look. He got a few of those on Tuesday and looked much less rushed and forced in putting up his shots. KU needs him to get going again, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until he does.

One for the road

KU's crazy comeback victory over West Virginia on Tuesday:

• Clinched the Jayhawks’ 11th-consecutive Big 12 Conference regular-season title outright. Kansas now has a two-game lead in the conference race with just one game remaining.

• Made Kansas 24-6 overall, giving KU 24 victories for the 10th-straight season.

• Bumped KU's record to 13-4 in Big 12 play, marking the 10th-consecutive season that the Jayhawks recorded 13 league wins, beginning in 2005-06.

• Earned Kansas the No. 1 seed in the 2015 Big 12 Championship. KU will play in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 12, at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN2. The Jayhawks will face the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed game to be played March 11. This is the seventh-consecutive year (beginning in 2009) that KU will enter the event as the No. 1 seed and the 12th time in the 19-year history of the Big 12.

• Extended Kansas’ winning streak in home finales to 33-straight seasons, which began in 1983-84.

• Pushed KU's edge in the Kansas-West Virginia series to 4-2 in favor of KU, including 3-0 inside Allen Fieldhouse.

• Marked the 24th-straight victory inside Allen Fieldhouse, including a 15-0 record in the venue this season. Overall, the Jayhawks are 728-109 all-time inside their storied venue and 190-9 at home under Bill Self.

• Improved Self to 349-75 while at Kansas, 4-2 against West Virginia and 556-180 overall.

• Made KU 2,150-828 all-time.

Next up

The Jayhawks close out the regular season at 3 p.m. Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma, where they'll look to hold off the Sooners in the season finale. KU knocked off OU, 85-78 Jan. 19 at Allen Fieldhouse.

By the Numbers: Kansas beats West Virginia, 76-69, in overtime

By the Numbers: Kansas beats West Virginia, 76-69, in overtime

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The Day After: Out-toughing Texas

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. celebrates as the Jayhawks begin to take over the game late in the second half against Texas on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. celebrates as the Jayhawks begin to take over the game late in the second half against Texas on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Now that's the kind of basketball game you expect to see in March, and the Jayhawks and Longhorns brought it to us a day early.

Tough, physical basketball. A lot at stake for both teams. Pressure mounting with every tick. Multiple guys making a variety of plays on both ends of the floor, with mistakes and miscues having as big of an impact as perfectly executed offense.

I realize that most of you reading this probably did not like several aspects of Saturday's 69-64 victory by Kansas over Texas, but that's exactly the kind of basketball I love to watch so sign me up every time for a game like that.

Quick takeaway

Frank Mason said after the game that the Jayhawks had won games like that before. And while I respect what Mason probably meant — close, down-to-the-wire, make-a-big-play-late games — I don't think Kansas has won a game like that this season. That was by far the toughest I've seen this Kansas team look and the hardest I've seen them compete. The officiating was inconsistent and non-existent at times, in both directions, and, for the most part, instead of whining about the whistles or lack thereof, KU simply kept playing. Despite being without one of their bigger bodies, they battled Texas' big front line for everything they got and often did so with smaller, quicker perimeter players mixing it up. The game was far from perfect. Perry Ellis was sensational, KU's defense was solid and the Jayhawks showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the game meant something to them. That mentality combined with someone else emerging as a second offensive weapon to Ellis just could be the recipe for a deep run later this month.

Three reasons to smile

1 – This whole Perry Ellis plays the role of Superman thing is getting out of control. The guy is in one of those zones where he pretty much outdoes what he did the game before every time out. Three straight games of 23 points or more. Carrying Kansas on offense. I Tweeted this during the game and I'll say it again here just because Ellis was that good — I think that was probably the best all-around game of Perry Ellis' career. He was a manchild on both ends of the floor and looks more confident than ever. Not to mention more capable than ever. Ellis' versatile offensive game features so many different weapons and, at times, he flashes all of them during the same possession. The guy is a beast and he's definitely in play for Big 12 player of the year honors.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) delivers a dunk against Texas center Prince Ibeh during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) delivers a dunk against Texas center Prince Ibeh during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

2 – Texas' 14 blocked shots established a new school record, but the Jayhawks blocked a few shots, too. KU finished with 10 blocks — three each for Ellis and Kelly Oubre — and did so with the supposed best option at protecting the paint (Cliff Alexander) sitting on the bench in street clothes. Just another sign of how locked in these guys were defensively and how hard they competed.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) comes down from a dunk over Texas forward Myles Turner (52) during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) comes down from a dunk over Texas forward Myles Turner (52) during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

3 – With Cliff Alexander stuck on the bench because of questions about his eligibility, Landen Lucas was forced to play 25 minutes and played them well. His stat line (5 points, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls) won't wow you — it pretty much never does — but the fact that he was on the floor for twice as many minutes as Jamari Traylor, who started, tells you all you need to know about how Lucas played.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – Kansas made just one three-pointer and Brannen Greene missed all three shots he attempted. Just a few weeks ago, the buzz surrounding this KU team was that they were the best three-point shooting team known to man. Today, they look a little more human and seem to be consistently providing proof for why KU coach Bill Self said it's a dangerous idea to rely on three-point shooting to win games. KU was 1-for-8 from behind the arc against Texas, but the one was huge. Frank Mason drilled a three from the top of the key to put Kansas up two right after Texas had reclaimed a lead it let slip away. Eight attempts is a surprisingly low number for this team, but Self gave credit to UT coach Rick Barnes for forcing the Jayhawks to play inside the arc, which definitely had something to do with it.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) goes hard to the bucket against Texas guard Kendal Yancy (0) and forward Myles Turner during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) goes hard to the bucket against Texas guard Kendal Yancy (0) and forward Myles Turner during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

2 – Neither team reached 40 percent shooting in either half. A lot of people will call that kind of game ugly basketball. But I call it a war. Kansas shot 36.2 percent from the floor — and somehow won — and Texas shot 37.7 percent. Beyond that, the two teams who did their best to beat each other up all afternoon combined to shoot 50 free throws. If you're someone who likes to watch wide open offense and points scored in bunches, this wasn't the game for you. Credit KU's free throw shooting (26-for-32) and defense for allowing Kansas to win despite making just 21 of 58 shots.

Kansas guard Devonte Graham looks for a loose ball with Texas forward Myles Turner (52) and teammate Perry Ellis during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte Graham looks for a loose ball with Texas forward Myles Turner (52) and teammate Perry Ellis during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

3 – Just a couple of games ago, Devonte' Graham scored 20 points and looked like a completely new player bound to spend the rest of the season attacking and helping the Kansas offense reach a new gear. On Saturday he played just seven minutes and did not record a single meaningful stat. Perhaps Texas' size and style of play simply did not suit Graham's game or maybe the experience factor was the reason. Either way, Frank Mason was back to the early-season role of playing nearly the entire game (39 minutes) and there's no doubt that he took a beating while doing it. KU's gotta get more from Graham no matter who the opponent.

One for the road

Kansas' boxing-match-style victory over Texas on Saturday:

• Made the Jayhawks 23-6 overall, giving KU 23 victories for the 26th-consecutive season, beginning in 1989-90.

• Pushed KU’s record to 12-4 in Big 12 play, marking the 15th-consecutive season that the Jayhawks recorded 12 league wins, beginning in 2000-01.

• Extended KU’s all-time series advantage to 25-8, including a 13-1 mark in games played in Lawrence and an 11-1 advantage in Allen Fieldhouse.

• Marked the 23rd-straight victory inside Allen Fieldhouse, including a 14-0 record in the venue this season. Overall, the Jayhawks are 727-109 all-time at AFH and 189-9 at home under Bill Self.

• Improved Self to 348-75 while at Kansas, 15-8 against Texas (15-6 at Kansas) and 555-180 overall.

• Made KU 2,149-828 all-time.

Kansas head coach Bill Self applauds the crowd as he leaves the floor following the Jayhawks' 69-64 win over Texas on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self applauds the crowd as he leaves the floor following the Jayhawks' 69-64 win over Texas on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Updated Big 12 Standings

Here's a quick look at the conference race. A KU win on Tuesday over West Virginia would guarantee the Jayhawks at least a share of consecutive Big 12 title No. 11. A loss on Tuesday, combined with an Oklahoma victory over Iowa State on Monday, would make KU's March 7 game at OU a winner-take-all contest.

Kansas 12-4
Oklahoma 11-5
Baylor 10-6
West Virginia 10-6
Iowa State 10-6
Kansas State 8-9
Oklahoma State 7-9
Texas 6-10
TCU 4-12
Texas Tech 3-14

Next up

The Jayhawks return home Tuesday for a rematch with West Virginia at 8 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse. KU fell to the Mountaineers 62-61 two weeks ago in Morgantown. Tuesday also will be Senior Night at the Fieldhouse, where Christian Garrett will be honored for his four years with the program.

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Texas, 69-64

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Texas, 69-64

Reply 3 comments from Lonnie Ross Dillon Bob Bailey Ben Kane

Time frame for Cliff Alexander’s return remains a mystery

Very little public information has been released about the situation surrounding Kansas University freshman forward Cliff Alexander, who sat out of Saturday's 69-64 victory over Texas at Allen Fieldhouse after the NCAA made KU officials aware of an eligibility concern surrounding Alexander.

Following Saturday's game, KU coach Bill Self admitted to having little knowledge about the situation — though it seems highly likely that Self has learned a ton more in the 24 hours since first hearing about it — but Self also made it clear that he did not believe the issue had anything to do with something the school, the coaches or the basketball program had done wrong.

While such a stance undoubtedly was refreshing for KU fans to hear, it did not erase the fact that Alexander is out indefinitely and there's no telling at this point when or even if he might return.

Sunday morning, SI.com's Brian Hamilton got in touch with the attorney helping Alexander work through the situation, Washington D.C.-based Arthur McAfee, and even McAfee was unable to shed much light on any kind of time frame.

“I can’t handicap it for you, it wouldn’t be fair to either side to do so,” McAfee told Hamilton. “Our goal is to make sure there is clarity with whatever issue [the NCAA] may have. We’re always confident that whatever information [it is] looking for is in favor of Cliff. These things take time to develop. [It has] procedures [it] must follow, and I think there’s an attempt to do it fairly quickly. We will see here in short order, I hope.”

These things certainly are not new to college athletics or college basketball or even KU, but given the fact that this one has popped up in March, with just two games remaining in the regular season, one can't help but wonder if things can and will be resolved in time for Alexander to return to the Jayhawks' lineup this season.

Despite being unable to predict how long the ordeal would last or how long Alexander would be sidelined, McAfee seemed confident that things would move quickly one way or the other.

“I would assume that [the NCAA] understands the pressures of the current basketball season,” McAfee told Hamilton, “and I’m sure [it] will try to do [its] job in a thorough fashion, to cause the least amount of harm to Cliff and the university.”

Whenever these situations arise, information can be tough to come by because everyone involved typically wants to say as little as possible as to not interfere with the process. Self said following Saturday's game that Alexander would be able to practice while things played out, but until more is known or things are resolved, that's likely all Alexander will be able to do and we probably won't be hearing from him until KU knows his status for the rest of the season.

The good news, from a Kansas perspective, is that the university acted fast in sitting Alexander and has made it clear that it is 100 percent willing to cooperate with whatever the NCAA needs. It certainly would be foolish for them not to do so, but such swift action often is looked upon favorably by the NCAA.

Stay logged on to KUsports.com for any information we or others are able to learn about the Alexander situation.

Reply 11 comments from Allison Steen Jim Stauffer Noel Graham Steve Jacob Jay Reynolds Ashwin Rao Bville Hawk Michael Lorraine Kristen Downing

A tip of the cap to KU’s Jamari Traylor for role in Monday night’s court-storming fiasco at K-State

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security.

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security. by Nick Krug

Lost, at least to some, in the aftermath of K-State's latest court-storming frenzy and all of the opinions and hot takes that followed it, was the admirable restraint shown by Kansas University forward Jamari Traylor.

I like Traylor. He's a friendly guy who has his limitations as a basketball player but also genuinely seems to be trying his best whenever he's on the floor.

All of that said, my respect for the Chicago junior sky-rocketed Monday night, after watching him get unnecessarily bumped and blindsided by a Kansas State fan who rushed the floor. Rather than adding a horrendous layer of nastiness to an already ugly scene, Traylor acted with intelligence.

Judging by the photograph captured by Journal-World photographer Nick Krug — which Kansas State police used to help successfully identify and find the young man who I can only assume is a K-State student — I'm guessing that the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Traylor had at least 4 or 5 inches and 50 or so pounds on the guy.

Add to that the fact that Traylor is a finely tuned, ripped Div. I athlete and the K-State student is, well, not, and it's easy to conclude that if Traylor had felt like it — or even if he simply had been in a frame of mind to react and retaliate without thinking — he could have sent the young man to the hospital in a matter of seconds.

But he didn't. After initially reacting the way any of us would've — with shock, anger and frustration over something he never saw coming — Traylor walked away and did nothing.

I'll admit my surprise. Traylor is an emotional dude and an even more emotional player and it's easy to envision a scenario in which he might have taken the other path and created an even greater mess. That's especially easy to do when you consider the fact that the incident took place mere moments after a tough loss to a heated, in-state rival.

As for the incident as a whole, I don't have much to say about it other than to point out the obvious that the situation needs to be fixed.

Players and coaches from visiting teams cannot continue to be put in harm's way — no matter how serious the threat — when home fans storm the floor to celebrate an emotionally charged upset. It's a recipe for disaster and one that hopefully will be addressed and taken care of up front before someone unable to control himself the way Traylor was goes crazy and injures someone in response to the storming.

I'm certainly not condoning it, but you'd be hard pressed to find me passing judgment on any athlete who reacted negatively when put in a situation like the one Traylor was in. Sure, you'd like to think that all athletes could see the bigger picture, realize it's just a game, just walk away and all of those other buzz phrases that sound good, but in the heat of the moment that's not so easy to do and Traylor deserves a ton of credit for handling it the right way instead of making things worse.

8:34 p.m. Update:

In related news, the young man who bumped Traylor came forward with an apology letter in the K-State Collegian.

Reply 26 comments from Dale Koch Dale Sprague Allison Steen Texashawk10_2 David Robinett Len Shaffer Dale Rogers John Randall Surrealku Table_rock_jayhawk and 6 others

The Day After: Punked by the Purple People

Leading up to Monday's game at Kansas State, I told anyone who would listen that the outcome of that game would tell me a lot about this Kansas basketball team.

Go into Manhattan and win and life is good and the Jayhawks would be well on their way toward wrapping up another Big 12 title and positioned well for the postseason. Go in and lose, though, — in any manner — and I think you'd come away hard-pressed to make a case for this being a team that can expect to get past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Nothing about what I saw Monday night, during a 70-63 loss to K-State in which KU had a half a dozen opportunities to take control of the game made me change my mind.

I get the whole K-State was a desperate team, playing with passion against a heated rival. But they were also a team that just lost to TCU by 15 and Baylor by 27 and had lost seven of its last eight games. If you're a contender, you beat those teams. Home or away. If you're a contender, you don't let those teams grab on to a glimmer of hope that they can get you. If you're a contender, you find a way to win, pretty, ugly or otherwise.

KU did none of that and now enters the final three games of the conference schedule in a real dog fight for consecutive Big 12 title No. 11.

The odds are still very high that Kansas, which plays two of those three games at home, will win at least a share of the title and all will be well in the world of KU basketball. But even if that happens, I'm not sure that all is well with the Jayhawks. This team lacks mental and physical toughness and seems to be finding new ways to struggle just about every night out.

It's never easy to be the top dog that other teams hunt with reckless abandon. But if there's any team that should be used to that it's Kansas, and these Jayhawks too often look anything but comfortable out there on the floor.

Quick takeaway

I'm going to excuse Perry Ellis from the following commentary and also point out that there are times — minutes, halves even games — when a couple of other Jayhawks are the exception, as well. But it seems to me, now 28 games into the 2014-15 season, that this is a KU basketball team that lacks the necessary competitive juice to be a real contender. They don't play like they hate to lose. They don't compete to the point of exhaustion. They don't always lay it all on the line with the idea that, in any given moment, nothing else matters but getting a stop, grabbing a rebound or getting to the rim. I've said all season that this team lacks on-the-floor leadership and that's a big part of their struggles right now. It's probably too late to hope that emerges out of nowhere though, so the Jayhawks, and specifically Bill Self, are going to have to find a way around it. Ellis was a man on Monday and not just because he scored 20 points, hit 10 of 16 shots and was KU's only real offensive threat for most of the night. But also because he battled for rebounds, put the team on his back in the first half and even showed a little fire by trash talking a time or two. KU needs more of that from Ellis and others need to follow his lead.

Three reasons to smile

1 – Speaking of Perry Ellis, I thought the first half of this one was by far the best example we've seen of this team understanding that it should run every offensive possession through the junior forward from Wichita. It did not matter which players were on the floor with him, whenever they caught it, they looked at Ellis. If he was open, they passed it to him. And when he caught it, he usually got off a good shot or scored. That's a great sign for the future because this team has needed an identity all season and playing through your most experienced and probably most talented guy, who also happens to be as versatile as they come, is a pretty good identity to have.

2 – Props to Kelly Oubre for doing his best to compete. He didn't always score and it wasn't always pretty, but the freshman was aggressive when KU needed him to be and that's huge. There were times when it became way too easy for K-State to focus almost exclusively on guarding Ellis and dare other KU players to beat them. Oubre recognized that and went for it, he just wasn't quite as on as KU needed him to be. Still, he finished with 14 points, was aggressive in the half-court, took 13 shots (only two of which were three-pointers) and added seven boards in 28 minutes.

3 – Kansas did what it needed to do on the boards, out-rebounding K-State 37-28, including 14-7 on the offensive glass. A big reason that didn't matter more was because K-State shot so well, particularly in the second half, when they hit 56 percent of their shots and nearly hung 40 points. But KU held down the rebounding advantage, which led to more free throw attempts and more shots than the Wildcats.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – It didn't take a highly trained basketball eye to see which team wanted it more last night. KU battled and fought at times but the Wildcats battled and fought all the time. Even when KU hit K-State with runs, the Wildcats dug in and fought their way back. A couple of smaller areas where K-State had a subtle edge which can be huge in a two- or three-possession game included: deflections (5-4), charges taken (2-0), five-second calls forced (1-0) and, the big one, bench points (30-14).

2 – Not breaking any news here, but KU's on-the-ball defense was bad, particularly on Nigel Johnson, who played most of the second half with that look in his eye that told you he knew no one could guard him. K-State got way too many shots right at the rim and a good chunk of those were because of breakdowns in KU's man-to-man defense, which was so bad that Self even went to a box-and-one for a few possessions, something that K-State coach Bruce Weber said made him laugh because he thought his team was merely average offensively yet KU still struggled to stop them.

3 – I gotta think there's a way to get Brannen Greene more than 11 minutes. Greene has now played fewer than 20 minutes in 10 of the past 14 games. He's too good of an offensive weapon to limit his minutes like that. And, going back to what I talked about above, he's one of the few guys on this roster who cuts through the all of the tough calls, unlucky bounces and bad breaks and tries to compete, especially on the offensive end. He showed that late in the game on Monday night and it almost helped bring KU back. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, he shot the ball from three-point range as badly as we've seen him shoot it, likely the product of either being too amped up or a little overwhelmed. Regardless, if it's me, I play him more not less.

One for the road

The Jayhawks' third road loss in the past four tries:

• Made KU 22-6 overall and 11-4 in Big 12 play.

• Dropped KU’s all-time edge in the series to 188-93, including a 23-4 mark in games played in Bramlage Coliseum and a 40-5 advantage in Big 12 games.

• Marked the first time that Kansas State has defeated Kansas in consecutive meetings in Manhattan since the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons (in Ahearn Fieldhouse).

• Made Self 347-75 while at Kansas, 24-5 against Kansas State (23-5 at Kansas) and 554-180 overall.

• Made KU 2,148-828 all-time.

Next up

The Jayhawks return home Saturday for another showdown with Texas at 4 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse. KU played one of its best games of the season in topping Texas 75-62 Jan. 24 in Austin, Texas.

Reply 1 comment from Adam Reuter

The Day After: Punked by the Purple People

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) and guard Frank Mason III leave the floor following the Jayhawks' 70-63 loss to the Wildcats, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) and guard Frank Mason III leave the floor following the Jayhawks' 70-63 loss to the Wildcats, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

Leading up to Monday's game at Kansas State, I told anyone who would listen that the outcome of that game would tell me a lot about this Kansas basketball team.

Go into Manhattan and win and life is good and the Jayhawks would be well on their way toward wrapping up another Big 12 title and positioned well for the postseason. Go in and lose, though, — in any manner — and I think you'd come away hard-pressed to make a case for this being a team that can expect to get past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Nothing about what I saw Monday night, during a 70-63 loss to K-State in which KU had a half a dozen opportunities to take control of the game made me change my mind.

I get the whole K-State was a desperate team, playing with passion against a heated rival. But they were also a team that just lost to TCU by 15 and Baylor by 27 and had lost seven of its last eight games. If you're a contender, you beat those teams. Home or away. If you're a contender, you don't let those teams grab on to a glimmer of hope that they can get you. If you're a contender, you find a way to win, pretty, ugly or otherwise.

KU did none of that and now enters the final three games of the conference schedule in a real dog fight for consecutive Big 12 title No. 11.

The odds are still very high that Kansas, which plays two of those three games at home, will win at least a share of the title and all will be well in the world of KU basketball. But even if that happens, I'm not sure that all is well with the Jayhawks. This team lacks mental and physical toughness and seems to be finding new ways to struggle just about every night out.

It's never easy to be the top dog that other teams hunt with reckless abandon. But if there's any team that should be used to that it's Kansas, and these Jayhawks too often look anything but comfortable out there on the floor.

Quick takeaway

I'm going to excuse Perry Ellis from the following commentary and also point out that there are times — minutes, halves even games — when a couple of other Jayhawks are the exception, as well. But it seems to me, now 28 games into the 2014-15 season, that this is a KU basketball team that lacks the necessary competitive juice to be a real contender. They don't play like they hate to lose. They don't compete to the point of exhaustion. They don't always lay it all on the line with the idea that, in any given moment, nothing else matters but getting a stop, grabbing a rebound or getting to the rim. I've said all season that this team lacks on-the-floor leadership and that's a big part of their struggles right now. It's probably too late to hope that emerges out of nowhere though, so the Jayhawks, and specifically Bill Self, are going to have to find a way around it. Ellis was a man on Monday and not just because he scored 20 points, hit 10 of 16 shots and was KU's only real offensive threat for most of the night. But also because he battled for rebounds, put the team on his back in the first half and even showed a little fire by trash talking a time or two. KU needs more of that from Ellis and others need to follow his lead.

Three reasons to smile

1 – Speaking of Perry Ellis, I thought the first half of this one was by far the best example we've seen of this team understanding that it should run every offensive possession through the junior forward from Wichita. It did not matter which players were on the floor with him, whenever they caught it, they looked at Ellis. If he was open, they passed it to him. And when he caught it, he usually got off a good shot or scored. That's a great sign for the future because this team has needed an identity all season and playing through your most experienced and probably most talented guy, who also happens to be as versatile as they come, is a pretty good identity to have.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts a shot up against Kansas State forward Nino Williams (11) during the first half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts a shot up against Kansas State forward Nino Williams (11) during the first half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

2 – Props to Kelly Oubre for doing his best to compete. He didn't always score and it wasn't always pretty, but the freshman was aggressive when KU needed him to be and that's huge. There were times when it became way too easy for K-State to focus almost exclusively on guarding Ellis and dare other KU players to beat them. Oubre recognized that and went for it, he just wasn't quite as on as KU needed him to be. Still, he finished with 14 points, was aggressive in the half-court, took 13 shots (only two of which were three-pointers) and added seven boards in 28 minutes.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) pulls up for a shot against Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt (41) during the first half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) pulls up for a shot against Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt (41) during the first half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

3 – Kansas did what it needed to do on the boards, out-rebounding K-State 37-28, including 14-7 on the offensive glass. A big reason that didn't matter more was because K-State shot so well, particularly in the second half, when they hit 56 percent of their shots and nearly hung 40 points. But KU held down the rebounding advantage, which led to more free throw attempts and more shots than the Wildcats.

Three reasons to sigh

1 – It didn't take a highly trained basketball eye to see which team wanted it more last night. KU battled and fought at times but the Wildcats battled and fought all the time. Even when KU hit K-State with runs, the Wildcats dug in and fought their way back. A couple of smaller areas where K-State had a subtle edge which can be huge in a two- or three-possession game included: deflections (5-4), charges taken (2-0), five-second calls forced (1-0) and, the big one, bench points (30-14).

Kansas State forward Nino Williams (11) pulls a rebound away from Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) during the second half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. At right is Kansas State guard Nigel Johnson (23).

Kansas State forward Nino Williams (11) pulls a rebound away from Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) during the second half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. At right is Kansas State guard Nigel Johnson (23). by Nick Krug

2 – Not breaking any news here, but KU's on-the-ball defense was bad, particularly on Nigel Johnson, who played most of the second half with that look in his eye that told you he knew no one could guard him. K-State got way too many shots right at the rim and a good chunk of those were because of breakdowns in KU's man-to-man defense, which was so bad that Self even went to a box-and-one for a few possessions, something that K-State coach Bruce Weber said made him laugh because he thought his team was merely average offensively yet KU still struggled to stop them.

Frustrated, Kansas head coach Bill Self wipes his face after a late Kansas State bucket during the second half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Frustrated, Kansas head coach Bill Self wipes his face after a late Kansas State bucket during the second half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

3 – I gotta think there's a way to get Brannen Greene more than 11 minutes. Greene has now played fewer than 20 minutes in 10 of the past 14 games. He's too good of an offensive weapon to limit his minutes like that. And, going back to what I talked about above, he's one of the few guys on this roster who cuts through the all of the tough calls, unlucky bounces and bad breaks and tries to compete, especially on the offensive end. He showed that late in the game on Monday night and it almost helped bring KU back. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, he shot the ball from three-point range as badly as we've seen him shoot it, likely the product of either being too amped up or a little overwhelmed. Regardless, if it's me, I play him more not less.

One for the road

The Jayhawks' third road loss in the past four tries:

• Made KU 22-6 overall and 11-4 in Big 12 play.

• Dropped KU’s all-time edge in the series to 188-93, including a 23-4 mark in games played in Bramlage Coliseum and a 40-5 advantage in Big 12 games.

• Marked the first time that Kansas State has defeated Kansas in consecutive meetings in Manhattan since the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons (in Ahearn Fieldhouse).

• Made Self 347-75 while at Kansas, 24-5 against Kansas State (23-5 at Kansas) and 554-180 overall.

• Made KU 2,148-828 all-time.

A lone Kansas fan watches the scoreboard in the middle of a raucous sea of purple during the second half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

A lone Kansas fan watches the scoreboard in the middle of a raucous sea of purple during the second half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

Next up

The Jayhawks return home Saturday for another showdown with Texas at 4 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse. KU played one of its best games of the season in topping Texas 75-62 Jan. 24 in Austin, Texas.

By the Numbers: Kansas State beats KU, 70-63

By the Numbers: Kansas State beats KU, 70-63

Reply 25 comments from Walter_bridges Dirk Medema Yolanda Gay William Weissbeck Matt Tait Bob Bailey Robert  Brock Dale Koch John Pritchett Lcjayhawk and 7 others

K-State court-storming drawing reviews from several organizations

The Big 12 Conference, both Kansas University and Kansas State University, as well as the K-State Police Department all have spent the early part of Tuesday reviewing the court-storming scene that turned wild following the K-State men's basketball team's 70-63 upset victory over No. 8 Kansas Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security.

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security. by Nick Krug

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security.

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security. by Nick Krug

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security.

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security. by Nick Krug

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security.

In this sequence of images a court-rusher checks Kansas forward Jamari Traylor on his way toward the Kansas players before being temporarily stopped by security. by Nick Krug

Early Tuesday morning, K-State athletic director John Currie released the following statement about the incident:

"On behalf of President Schulz and K-State Athletics, I apologize to Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger, Coach Bill Self and the KU basketball team for the unfortunate situation in which they were placed last night at the conclusion of our basketball game. "Our security staff, which in similar past postgame celebrations has, according to our procedures and rehearsals, provided a solid human barrier to allow the teams to conduct a postgame handshake and safely leave the court, was unable to get into proper position quickly enough last night and was overwhelmed by the fans rushing the floor. "K-State prides itself on providing a great game atmosphere in a safe environment and did successfully execute our security plan when we defeated KU last year in Bramlage as well as in 2011. Although no one was hurt last night, we fell short of our expectations for securing the court and escorting KU to its locker room without incident. We are disappointed that we did not do better for the KU team. "We are reviewing our procedures internally and consulting with our law enforcement partners to determine any steps necessary to improve our gameday security. "Additionally, we are actively reviewing video and working in concert with law enforcement to identify any fan who intentionally touched visiting players or personnel. We will take appropriate action with such identified persons, including turning over all evidence to law enforcement so that any applicable charges can be filed. "Early this morning I met with Student Governing Association President Reagan Kays and Vice-President for Student Life Pat Bosco who are supportive of these steps. While we are proud of the incredible atmosphere of Bramlage Coliseum and the passion of K-State students and fans, we are saddened by the insistence of some fans to sully the image of our great institution with audible profane chants. We will continue to work with our student leadership to provide a better example of sportsmanship for our audiences. "Congratulations are still in order for our coaches and student-athletes for their tremendous effort last night, and we look forward to Saturday’s home finale against Iowa State."

A short while later, the Big 12 Conference also released a statement that explained it was reviewing the actions of all of those involved.

"The Big 12 Conference office and the two schools are reviewing the postgame celebration that occurred at the conclusion of last night's Kansas at Kansas State game. In accordance with Conference policy, home team game management is responsible for the implementation of protocols to provide for the safety of all game participants, officials and fans."

The incident, which included K-State fans slamming into KU players and coaches, KU assistant Kurtis Townsend forcefully restraining a KSU fan from taunting KU players and general chaos and pandemonium, has become a hot topic nationally, as several media outlets have made this latest incident of college-celebrations-gone-wild the focal point for renewed debate on whether there is a place for such scenes in college athletics.

In addition, K-State police are looking for the public's help in identifying the fan who slammed into Jamari Traylor shortly after the storming began.

None by K-State Police

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