Saturday, February 24, 2018

KU clinches share of 14th-straight Big 12 title in win over Tech

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets to the bucket past Texas Tech center Norense Odiase (32) during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets to the bucket past Texas Tech center Norense Odiase (32) during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.


LUBBOCK, TEXAS — The Jayhawks entered Lubbock with a chance at a Big 12 title. They left with that — and a whole lot more.

The No. 8-ranked Jayhawks put their name atop the record books on Saturday, clinching at least a share of their record-breaking 14th consecutive Big 12 championship. The Jayhawks, who previously shared the record of 13 straight with UCLA (1967-79), defeated No. 6 Texas Tech on the road, 74-72, and earned payback for a defeat in Allen Fieldhouse earlier this season.

Devonte' Graham went off for 26 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Svi Mykhailiuk added 21 points of his own as the Jayhawks, now ahead by two games in the conference with two left to play, won their eighth consecutive game in Lubbock.

Their last loss in United Supermarkets Arena came on March 4, 2009, when Sherron Collins shot 3 for 19 and Tech’s Alan Voskuil scored a career-high 35 points.

Now, the focus for the Jayhawks shifts to a senior-night showdown against Texas in which KU will be playing for an outright Big 12 championship for the fifth consecutive year.

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

• The game turned when: Graham began to take over.

No singular shot by the senior during his second half eruption put the game out of reach but Graham continued to hit daggers to keep the Jayhawks in front in a game in which they never trailed.

The Jayhawks jumped on top of the Red Raiders, taking an 8-0 lead just over three minutes into the game. The teams continued to get up and down the court at a fast pace — at least early on — a pace that favored the Jayhawks.

After having their first-half lead cut to one, the Jayhawks rallied, pushing the lead out to seven on a pair of free throws by Mykhailiuk and later to 10 on a wide-open corner 3-pointer from Malik Newman.

The Jayhawks’ largest lead in the first half was an 11-point advantage, 37-26, which came on an athletic offensive rebound by Mykhailiuk. The senior leapt up and hauled the ball in with his right hand, gaining control with both hands and putting a shot up all before landing back on the court.

Texas Tech wasn't done, cutting the lead down to one with less than 16 minutes to play in the first half, but Graham came to life in the second, doing his best Frank Mason impression and driving into the teeth of the Red Raiders defense over and over to draw fouls and get easy baskets.

Graham scored or assisted on 15 of the first 19 points for the Jayhawks in the second half. He finished with 18 of his 26 points in the period, drilling a key 2-point jumper with just over a minute left and rolling in a near-impossible finish with right around 30 seconds left to play.

Newman added 12 points and five rebounds in the win, while Udoka Azubuike finished with a game-high seven rebounds.

• Offensive highlight: Azubuike’s first basket was among the easiest he’s made all season.

Azubuike sealed off Texas Tech big man Tommy Hamilton in the post and received an entry pass. Hamilton fell to the ground, perhaps trying to sell a bit of contact or without a base to be able to lean back on Azubuike.

The KU big man caught the pass and turned toward the hoop. He took a power dribble to get into the paint and rose up for a two-handed thunderous tomahawk slam that left the hoop shaking for several moments.

Azubuike finished the first half with six points, making all three of his field goal attempts — all dunks — in 16 minutes. Perhaps most impressively, though, Azubuike finished the half with no fouls, despite setting a pair of hard screens — one of which led to a Justin Gray injury — that could have been whistled as illegal early in the contest.

• Defensive highlight: Graham’s pass — if you would call it that — was easily picked off, but his good friend and fellow senior wasn’t about to let him down.

With just under 9-and-a-half minutes to play in the first half, Norense Odiase caught the ball in the post with Azubuike behind him. Graham swiped at the ball and knocked it away. He chased after it out of bounds and saved it, flinging it backward over his head to keep it in bounds.

The pass sailed into the hands of Tech’s Zach Smith, but Mykhailiuk, who had a full head of steam, ripped the ball away and sprinted back down the court.

Mykhailiuk drew a foul and knocked down a pair of free throws to put KU up 7.

• Key stat: The Jayhawks shot 6 for 26 from 3 in their first meeting with Texas Tech. It took them all of 13 minutes and 15 seconds to one-up that in Lubbock.

The Jayhawks began the game shooting 7 for 10 from 3, pacing the offense to an efficient 41-point first half after scoring 32 in the first period at home against the Red Raiders.

KU shot 59.3 percent from the field in the first half and 53.8 percent from 3. The Red Raiders, though, were able to hang in the game by shooting 50 percent from the field and getting to the line for 10 free throws, compared to just two at that point for the Jayhawks.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will return home to take on Texas for senior night. That game, which will tip at 8 p.m. on Monday, will be a rematch of a Dec. 29 meeting in which the Jayhawks won, 92-86, in Austin.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Tech

By the Numbers: Kansas 74, Texas Tech 72.

By the Numbers: Kansas 74, Texas Tech 72.


Daniel Kennamore 4 years, 5 months ago

I've watched nearly every game during this streak, and I have zero doubt this one is the sweetest.

Rock Chalk!

Thomas Green 4 years, 5 months ago

Devonte would not be denied today! What a game he had! He simply went out and did everything he needed to do! What an accomplishment! Thank you Devonte!

Drew Doerfler 4 years, 5 months ago

Devonte needs to be first team all-american!...dude is a stud. he willed KU to that win. Svi with an aggresively nice game too.....Vick? once again no where to be seen anywhere doing anything

Brian Jahelka 4 years, 5 months ago

Woohoo! Rock Chalk! Devonte is B12 player of the year, no question. What a stud.

I'm gonna go get me a T-shirt!!!

greg robinson 4 years, 5 months ago

Amazing game Devonte put us on his back. My only complaint is my cable provider (Comcast sucks) was on the fritz and no ESPN today! I was able to watch on the computer but no recording to watch over & over & over.....

Bryce Landon 4 years, 5 months ago

Devonte Graham single-handedly won this game for Kansas. When the 3-pointers weren't falling as freely in the first half, he drove it to the basket and made all the big plays Kansas needed. He showed the bulldog determination Frank Mason used to show.

And because of that, Kansas is a Big 12 champion for the 14th year in a row and for the 16th time in 17 years. The record once held by UCLA now belongs to Kansas and to Kansas alone.

There were many times when I doubted whether Kansas would pull this off. As recently as two weeks ago when KU bottomed out against Baylor, I thought it would end this season. Thank you, Jayhawks, for proving me wrong. Being wrong feels pretty damn good right about now!

Joe Ross 4 years, 5 months ago

RE: "There were many times when I doubted whether Kansas would pull this off."

You don't say...

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 5 months ago

LMAO! I think Bryce posts with his heart after a loss and with his brain after a victory.

Joe Norton 4 years, 5 months ago

Best of Graham’s career! Put the team on his back and made 14 happen! We all had doubts but this Big 12 championship run was incredible and a great ride. The team is now firing on all cylinders and ready to roll.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 5 months ago

I still think vs WVU was his best. But this one is just as good.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 5 months ago

He's had numerous games throughout his four-year career where he played better statistically but not any better in terms of significance.

Tim Orel 4 years, 5 months ago

Please update the story to say Svi did the offensive rebound and putback "before reaching the ground" as opposed to "before leaving the ground".

My opinion, the acrobatic shot Devonte put in with two seconds on the shot clock and 30 seconds to go was the offensive highlight, but there were a few (his 3 pointer as the clock expired was also incredible).

Barry Weiss 4 years, 5 months ago

did not get to see the game but wow, sounds like it was a battle. so proud of these kids!

David Black 4 years, 5 months ago

Outstanding game against TTU...Scott you typed TCU but I don't care because this old alumnus's pride is on full display...Rock Chalk.

Carolyn Hunzicker 4 years, 5 months ago

If we could just get Vic to rebound.....And play up to his athletic ability We would be hard to beat !

Mike Kendall 4 years, 5 months ago

I will probably watch the game again, but wow, what a leader Graham was during the game. Noticed lots of huddles, with Graham in charge. Mr. Mason would be proud. Looking forward to another shirt. Senior Night on Monday. Texas squeaked by the Cowboys. I will be emotional when Devonte' gives his Senior speech. So proud of my Hawks! Well done, well done.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations to Coach Self and all the players. Incredible!

Clark Groseth 4 years, 5 months ago

OMG I am watching Duke beat up on Syracuse...playing ZONE. This after watching our beloved Hawks playing ZONE against the Red Raiders. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Dave Miller 4 years, 5 months ago

The sky is not falling... the ceiling has just been raised! :)

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 5 months ago

Saw the game also. Couldn't believe what I was seeing. I don't think I've ever seen Duke play zone. I'm sure they must have but I can't recall any.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 5 months ago

Love it! Our trio did most of the damage in scroring. Garrett's dribble and dunk looks great! Maan, I thought he'll score more after that.. And look what would happen when Vick didn't score.. TT's Offensive rebounds # needs to be addressed. They'll march deeper in March. So will we.

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 5 months ago

I hate to be Negative Nellie, but that’s the best Offensive Highlight you could come up with? My goodness, Graham’s 2 offensive buckets in crunch time were far superior to the one mentioned. Was this article written before halftime?

Joe Ross 4 years, 5 months ago

...death, taxes, and Kansas Conference Championships.

Joe Ross 4 years, 5 months ago

And of course if Kansas happens to win either of their last two games (home vs. Texas or away vs. Okie State) Kansas will win outright. At the time of this comment, it looks like WV will handle the Cyclones. But since WV plays TT next, only one of those two teams can statistically catch Kansas. Oh, and Kansas would have to lose BOTH of its last two games to put them in a position of sharing the title, and the winner of WV/TT would have to win out.

Not likely.

I'm guessing the odds for an outright championship sit at 9 to 1.

Mike Kendall 4 years, 5 months ago

We haven't lost a Senior Night since 1988 or 1989---something like that. Don't think it will happen on Monday---outright 14 Big 12 Title.

[''] 4 years, 5 months ago

Devonte was incredible. He won the Big 12 POY award today. Doka was a major force defensively. Both will probably be in the NBA next year. What a fun season. Rock Chalk.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 5 months ago

I think Udoka returns next year. He should go to the NBA combine next season where I think he would get a lot of advice to play a 2nd year at Kansas.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 5 months ago

From now on, I'll always remember this team as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!! No offense, Silvio but your time will come.

14 straight conference championships...with what do you guys think, 100 or so different players??!!

Layne Pierce 4 years, 5 months ago

Of course, some will say, who cares if you win 14 in a row. I say, it is an incredible feat, and something, that in all likelihood will not be repeated for a very very long time.

I think we should give some kudos to Tech also. Fact is, with a healthy Evans, who knows. Then again, I can see two games, especially the game at OU, where we really played well enough and should have won the game. Svi being hurt warming up, allowed to lose to Baylor for the first time.

Still, Tech plays incredible defense, and they are beasts on the boards.

No, don't let anyone tell you this wasn't big, this was very big, and we did it the right way by winning on the road against a ranked team.

Rock Chalk

Dave Miller 4 years, 5 months ago

14!! Now, let's finish this! Win it outright against Texas at Allen Fieldhouse!! Party in Lawrence!!

Scott: Typo, 6th paragraph from the bottom:

"The pass sailed into the hands of TCU’s Zach Smith, but Mykhailiuk, who had a full head of steam, ripped the ball away and sprinted back down the court." Please change to TTU.


Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 5 months ago

Last year, Frank, and this year Devonte. They are two of the greatest leaders in KU basketball history.

Devonte should indeed be the Player of the Year in the conference. Nobody has done more to lead his team to success.

Svi and Malik were outstanding also. Between the three of them, they scored 59 of KU's 74 points.

Kudos also to Coach Self and his staff for one of the best jobs ever. He should be Coach of the Year, although I suppose it will go to Chris Beard at TTU.

A tip of the hat to TTU also. They are a great team and are very well coached.

Brad Watson 4 years, 5 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS to the players ....coaches.....managers....trainers....staff in the athletic dept...and everyone involved behind the scenes with the program on a great achievement...another Big 12 regular season title...another banner....GREAT JOB!....Enjoy made history and you did it with class...THE MAIN GOAL OF THE SEASON HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED... now there are some more games ahead....just relax and take them one game at a time...bring the ultimate warrior mentality and the high energy ..... and make sure you do your Jerod Haase homework every night..... and I promise you..... things will turn out the way you want.

Gary Wilson 4 years, 5 months ago

The main goal every season is to win the title. Period. And I don't mean the Big 12 title.

Brad Watson 4 years, 5 months ago

I use to think that....but I think the conference title is more realistic and is determined over 18 games...a long season of challenges...I love the NCAA Tournament....but a one and done doesn't always crown the best team I think the approach should be loose and free..... just have fun and see what happens....of course with focus and all out effort....but lets face it...68 teams get in...67 go home with a loss.... a lot of variables out of your control...if you win your conference you are CHAMPIONS.... no matter what happens in the NCAA...just an opinion..I don't expect everyone to agree....Would I like to see a Final Four...and win another National Title ?...Of course...and I think this team can do it...if they really work hard .

Gary Wilson 4 years, 5 months ago

Just an incredible feat, not to be repeated by anyone in our lifetimes. Now Vick can transfer, or have his scholly pulled. I don't care either way.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years, 5 months ago

reading these comments i hate my net and can't wait to watch the game.

Mike Kendall 4 years, 5 months ago

Every sports analyst that I have seen on TV is saying that Devonte' is Big 12 POY. HCBS says, that right now, Devonte' deserves the award. There is still two games left, though. And, as CS said in post-game, Devonte' isn't into individual awards. I believe he deserves the award. He had a hella of a game.

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 5 months ago

Hey Trae Young ................You said you went to Oklahoma because Lon Kruger " gave you the keys to the car" ........Well its 332 miles from Norman to Lawrence ,now that you have a car it will be a nice drive to see the big 12 championship trophy. Please drive safely

Bill Corrigan 4 years, 5 months ago

Kansas Men's Basketball -- All-time Conference Champions! The Streak Lives On.

Brad Watson 4 years, 5 months ago

Devonte.....I loved the effort today.......WELL DONE!!...That shot.?.....OFF THE CHARTS!

Mike Greer 4 years, 5 months ago

Great win! Obviously Devonte was awesome and Svi had a great game as well, congratulations seniors! Newman played well pretty much hit his recent averages, very good. Dok played better on defense than offense, and that's okay, we needed the defense in the paint. He would have had at least one more defensive rebound if Garret hadn't knocked one out of his hands. Vick was not as much of a factor as he has been, but he did have a block and two of the four steals, and a couple of hustle plays for 50/50 balls. Garret was once again left wide open a bunch and couldn't hit, other than his one drive and dunk his stat line was most notable for his four fouls less than five minutes into the second half. Mitch had a fairly good game with a block, but not much offense. All that said, if it weren't for the heroics from Devonte, this would have been an ugly loss.

And just a note to Huggy, what about that first half freethow discrepancy!

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 5 months ago

We have a legitimate shot of a #1 seed. Might need to win out in conference play and then win at least 2 games in the BIG 12 Championship.

I think we are a 2 seed as of right now.

Not sure if it makes much difference but would still like to see it happen.

Brad Watson 4 years, 5 months ago

Yep...we are moving upwards in the seeding....a lot has changed since the morning in Waco.

Tom Jones 4 years, 5 months ago

It's everyone's favorite time of year...Crow Eating Time! Special thanks to Yonatan Negash and Steve Johnson and of course, our annual leader in nonsensical posting, Bryce, for so much hilarity!

Jaston Archie 2/10/18 I don’t understand why Devonte gets such a pass by KU coaches and fans, he is a small, unathletic very average player. I guess it’s bc he plays so many minutes that any time he messes up or shoots bricks it’s bc he’s tired and has to carry the team. He’s not built to carry a team, I can’t wait for next season

Bryce Landon 2/10/18 I think it's time that we come to grips with grim reality: We are not going to win the Big 12 this year. We don't have the manpower to do it, and we don't have the willpower either. I, for one, am resigning myself to KU's fate to finish anywhere from 2nd-5th place, what with Texas Tech going into Manhattan and annihilating KSU this evening. The streak has been fun, and it's been nice to tie UCLA's old record, and it would have been nice to have that record all to ourselves; but with Billy Preston's issues, Sam and Silvio not panning out, all the departures before the season, and the players losing their edge, No. 14 isn't happening. And the sooner we come to terms with that, the better off we will be.

Robert Brock 2/6/18 This team is out of gas; it is going to go on a sustained losing streak. KU will end up with a pitiful NCAA Tourney seed with an early out.

Andy Goodwin 1/24/18 This team is walking a tightrope between being good (they are not a top 5 team) and finishing in the middle of the Big 12. By Monday night, KU will likely be tied with KSU and WVU and this talk of the Big 12 going through Allen Fieldhouse will be muted nationally again.

Steve Johnson 1/4/18 How about the fact the coaching staff has done a poor job recruiting. This team is in trouble. Not chance of winning the Big 12 nor getting a favorable seed in the tournament.

Yonatan Negash 1/4/18 Hate to say it but this season is a wash.

Yonatan Negash 1/4/18 More losses are inevitable, I'm not in denial like you are. We will lose 10+ games this season, whether you like or not, it's going to happen.

Steve Johnson 1/3/18 Not a chance of winning the Big 12 or having success in the Tournament with this team. They are all a step slow, cant box out and are not mentally tough. Big Dok looks like a Big Nope. He can dunk and that is it. Cant rebound, cant defend, cant block shots, cant block out, change his name to the Big Cant!

Tracey Graham 1/3/18 This is the worst KU team I've seen since I was in school in the 1980s (pre-Larry Brown).

Freddie Garza 1/3/18 This is finally going to be the year that KU doesn't win the league. It was coming, and I think a bunch of us actually NEED to be humbled. Sucks for us, but overall, it's good for the league for someone else to win it. We'll reload and get back to dominating the league again in no time. But this certainly is NOT the year for Jayhawks.

Tom Jones 4 years, 5 months ago

Bryce Landon 2/12/18 Look at us! We have 4 conference losses and have looked very bad in all four of them. We already got our asses kicked by Tech in our own building! We have lost 2 out of 3 in decisive fashion! What about the way we are playing right now suggests to you that we can that coveted 14th title, beat a Tech team that is more talented and hungrier than we are, or that we deserve anything higher than a 3 seed?

Steve Johnson 2/10/18 No chance for a Big 12 title or winning the Big 12 Tournament.

Bj Cassady 12/17/17 This is a team at this point that cannot defeat OU, OSU, TCU, Baylor, Texas, Iowa State and West Virginia on the road, W Virginia, OU and Baylor will be tough outs at home.

David McNickle 12/11/17 Shows you what sportswriters know. This is a Top 25 team at best.

Allin Herring 12/10/17 This is maybe the worst and softness KU team in decades.

Steve Johnson 12/10/17 this teams not a top 20 team. Not even close.

Craig Carson 12/10/17 hate to say it, but I'm already writing this team off as a 10 loss, 5 or 4 seed, 3rd in the Big 12, out by opening weekend in the NCAA and looking forward to next year

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