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Kansas defeats Kansas State, 70-54

  • 5 p.m., March 16, 2013
  • T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, MO

Big 12 champs: Withey, Ellis lead KU to 70-54 win over Kansas State

By Matt Tait.

It had about as much hype as a match-up set less than 24 hours earlier could, but when the ball was tipped, Saturday's Big 12 Championship title game between Kansas and Kansas State was like so many others the Sunflower Showdown has seen in recent years — all Kansas.

Although the Jayhawks did not truly pull away until the game's final 10 minutes, they also never were seriously threatened and rolled to their third win in three days, 70-54, over the Wildcats.

Jeff Withey, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, dominated the interior, even if his numbers did not show it. Time and time again, KSU drove it to the rim and time and time again, Withey's presence forced the Wildcats to throw up wild shots that had next to no chance of going in.

Withey finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Offensively, both teams started slowly, but KU's 42-percent first-half shooting clip was far better than the 22.2-percent mark thrown up by K-State. That set the tone for the rest of the game and the Wildcats never crawled closer than nine points after KU stretched the lead to double digits for the first time about five minutes into the second half.

While Withey led the way for KU, freshman Perry Ellis — also named to the all-tournament team — followed up his sensational semifinal game against Iowa State with another solid showing. Ellis finished with 12 points and six rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting.

Perhaps most impressive about KU's run to its ninth Big 12 tournament title in 17 seasons is that red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore scored just 15 points in the semifinal and title games combined. That, of course, came after McLemore's 24-point performance in a quarterfinal win over Texas Tech.

Here’s a quick look back at some of Saturday's action.

The game turned when: The Jayhawks responded to K-State's quick start to the second half with a 12-3 run that turned a three-point lead a couple of minutes into a 12-point lead four minutes later. Kevin Young, Jeff Withey, Naadir Tharpe and Travis Releford all contributed buckets during the knockout stretch.

Offensive highlight: At the 13:45 mark of the second half, Withey ripped down a rebound after a missed shot by KSU and immediately flipped an outlet pass to Naadir Tharpe. A couple of dribbles later, Tharpe zipped a bounce pass that looked to have eyes between three bodies running down the floor. The pass landed softly in Travis Releford's hands and two steps later he dunked it to put KU up by 10. After the flush, Tharpe flexed and flashed a tough stare at whoever wanted to see it.

Defensive highlight: With K-State trailing 8-6 at the 13:08 mark of the first half, Wildcats senior Rodney McGruder drove the left baseline and found himself wide open with a clear path to the rim. As McGruder rose up to slam the ball with two hands, KU's Jamari Traylor came across the lane, threw up a wall at the hoop and blocked the shot. The collision sent McGruder crashing to the floor but replays showed that the block was mostly clean. It also was a heck of an athletic play by Traylor on one of the best offensive players in the conference.

Key stat: Field goal percentage. Not only did K-State shoot just 22 percent in the first half and 35 percent for the game, but the Wildcats also struggled from long range, hitting just six of 24 three-point attempts. Kansas, meanwhile, shot 49 percent for the game (55 in the second half) and 50 percent (7-of-14) from three-point range.

Up next: The Jayhawks ended the regular season with a 29-5 record and will now wait for Sunday's unleashing of the NCAA Tournament bracket (5 p.m. CST) to find out its next opponent. It seems like a lock that KU will open the postseason in Kansas City, Mo., next Friday as either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.

Box score

Join the post game discussion

Jhawk7782 in reply to Jhawk7782

Just need wifi

Aircapjay in reply to Lajayhawk

Perry has arrived... but where did Ben go?

Jhawk7782 in reply to Joey Berland

Even on mobile devises?

David Davison in reply to Joey Berland


Withey is MOP

Joey Berland in reply to Jhawk7782

I have dish network and espn doesn't allow them or their subscribers participate

Lajayhawk in reply to Joshua Hatcher

Tough call, anyway you slice it. LOVE that Perry has arrived though. Absolutely nothing better.


KU = 1 Seed!

Bryan Mille

Co-champions. I don't think so. Better luck next year little brother.


Bring on that No. One Seed !

Joshua Hatcher in reply to Lajayhawk

He did but I think Ellis has earned it by working and working and working. I just think you give it to him based on performance and living up to expectations finally.

Jhawk7782 in reply to Joey Berland

Use Watch Now app


9 Big 12 Tournament victories for KU...KSU 0


Jaybate got his spread covered.

Joey Berland

Anyone have a link for post game stuff other than espn3? Don't get it in western kansas

Jaycon11 in reply to Lajayhawk

Coin flip, but Ellis really was a surprise.


they're putting on the new shirts!

Jaycon11 in reply to Jhawk7782

I cannot wait.

Lajayhawk in reply to Lajayhawk

**second half, I mean

Lajayhawk in reply to Joshua Hatcher

Withey had a very, very solid game. Hard not to put him up top. And Tharpe was a major difference in the second game.


Both ISU and K-State wanted another rematch. I wonder if they have buyer's remorse...

Bryan Mille

HEEHAW!!! Pussycats.

Jhawk7782 in reply to Jaycon11

No doubt..heard Lucas will be ready to go.

Jim Roth

Doc Sadler isn't very tall.


Print the T-shirts!

Rolland Remmert





KSU should give back their regular season trophy now.


Another one! Never gets old!

Kansas State 54
Kansas 70

Jesse Newell

KU wins the Big 12 tournament championship.




What, no Tyler?


Champion has been determined. 1B has been vanquished.

Joshua Hatcher in reply to Lajayhawk

Perry I think deserves it. That's just an awesome string of 3 days in a row.

Jaycon11 in reply to Lajayhawk

Tharpe and Ellis, two non-seniors. Next yr will be good.


Time for the trifecta....



Diane Erb

This is how Kansas celebrates the Cutting of the Net!


Jesse, I don't envy the ratings today. Withey, Perry and Tharpe all deserving of the top spot.


i was in cancun in nov. of 2011 when the cancun classic was going on....illinois and weber at the moon palace. pussies

Bryan Mille


Gregg Gibson

made it to 70!


Tharpe had a HUGE game today.




Game. Set. Match.



Jesse Newell

Self gives the fist pump after the Tharpe three.

Jaycon11 in reply to Jhawk7782



MVP Ellis?


Anybody that says they don't have a man crush on Bill Self is a straight-up liar. :)


Withey was POY for Big 12 season. Highest EFF I think. Not sure in tournament.

Jhawk7782 in reply to Surrealku

Yes it was!


Bill Self going deep!

Jaycon11 in reply to Lajayhawk

Thought I saw 2. ESPN shows 1.

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Diane Erb


Rolland Remmert in reply to Kujayhawk0611

hope he puts his teeth in 1st

Diane Erb in reply to Kujayhawk0611

I want to hear his voice when he yells!


two minutes is a long time.... hurry it up alrady... end it.

02:01 left in Second Half
Kansas State 54
Kansas 67

Jesse Newell

Nice shot by Irving there.

Crimsonphoenix in reply to Kualldayeveryday



You said it, I didn't. Puddytats wear purple


They are pushing for Jeff to win mop

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Crimsonphoenix



hey bruce....take your whiney litle ass voice to the press conference and talk about the officating!

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Kupopp

im sorry I think your computer is broken

Crimsonphoenix in reply to Kualldayeveryday

What'd you say?

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Thixku

I agree that was clearly an offesnsive pass interference... flag was deserved there


Wait, wait, wait.... Withey only has 1 block???

Kupopp in reply to Kualldayeveryday


Stacy Taylor in reply to Rolland Remmert

I'm good with that!

Diane Erb in reply to Rolland Remmert


Kualldayeveryday in reply to Kupopp



that should have been a flagrant

Crimsonphoenix in reply to Rolland Remmert


Surrealku in reply to Jhawk7782

But then that between Spardling's legs is priceless..


That's what you call a frustration foul, kids.


even brent noticed it...

Born_and_raised_a_ku_fan in reply to Rolland Remmert

Just wait til next year...


that was so obvious... i actaully wondered...

Lajayhawk in reply to Crimsonphoenix

LOL. I think I said near 1.2, but, yeah. :-)

Kupopp in reply to Kualldayeveryday

What you said


Come on guys, don't brain-fart this away.

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Crimsonphoenix


Rolland Remmert

Musburger just annouced this would be their last broadcast of the year. On 3....a collective cheer

Crimsonphoenix in reply to Lajayhawk

Easy there, boy, you called a 1.2, not quite there yet...

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Kupopp


Kent Wells in reply to Lajayhawk

Let me think about that!


Offensive foul or not, that was impressive.

Jesse Newell in reply to Lajayhawk

You were right.


Ej 5 TO's 2 assists and we are winning big..go figure

Lajayhawk in reply to Jesse Newell

Ahem.... should I pull out the "I told you so?" ;-)

Kupopp in reply to Kualldayeveryday

They wear purple

Crimsonphoenix in reply to Kualldayeveryday

When a man loves a woman...


did i say pussy? meant effin pussy


Defense can win a championship, as long as the offense doesn't implode. I like our chances in the tourney. Will be disappointed if we don't at least get to the Elite Eight, and the Final Four is definitely within our grasp. This year there is no team that really stands out above the rest. I like our chances at a National Championship.

Jesse Newell

KU PPP up to 1.1. Once again turning it on in the second half.

Brad Swisher

Brent's last game this year - music to my ears


Another blow-out performance by KU!

Kualldayeveryday in reply to Kujayhawk0611

whats a pussy?


weber is a pussy....was at illinois and still is. i live in that effin state and loathe the Illini


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