KUAD Box Score, Recap, Quotes, Notes, Video
LJW Video and Audio pressers and post-game interviews
ESPN Recap, Video
KC Star Photos
3/16/13, 4:54 PM
Ready to watch KU smack KState tonight #RockChalk
3/16/13, 5:11 PM
#ESPN #kubball #KState Bruce Weber to his team in locker room: "Did you really earn it? They beat you twice. You have a chance to earn it."
3/16/13, 5:11 PM
Lets crown the REAL champion. Kansas vs Kansas St in the #Big12. Jayhawks and Wildcats shared the regular season crown.
3/16/13, 5:24 PM
Based on reaction after baskets, it feels like it's almost 70 percent KU fans in here. Maybe more.
3/16/13, 6:23 PM
Crowd for #KState-#KUbball breaks record set previous night with 19,256.
3/16/13, 6:35 PM
The B12 fr of the year and possible No. 1 draft choice went 3/4s of the game w/o scoring and KU is up 14. Almost a perfect tournament team
3/16/13, 6:43 PM
Perry Ellis just hit a 3. 60-46 #kubball and this crowd is juiced. "Perry, Perry" chants swarm the building.
3/16/13, 6:46 PM
#KUbball fans chanting "Little Brother" at KState
3/16/13, 6:48 PM
Hammer and Nail meet Kansas and KState
3/16/13, 7:04 PM
Big 12 league and tournament Champions ! #KUCMB
3/16/13, 7:03 PM
I think we all know who the REAL big 12 champs are @jayhawks #
the dubliner #power& light
https://twitter.com/ku_oline (Tim Grunhard)
3/16/13, 7:09 PM
happy for my Kansas boys .. keep it going
3/16/13, 7:33 PM
Yeaaaaaaa #RCJH RT @KUGameday The Kansas Jayhawks have won the 2013 Big 12 Championship! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! #kubball
3/16/13, 7:34 PM
Big XII champs!!! Can't share this one.
3/16/13, 7:56 PM
We are the #BIG12CHAMPS #KUCMB thanks to all the fans today at the Sprint Center and everyone on twitter showing love.
3/16/13, 8:04 PM
#Big12MBB: @KU_Hoops shot 55.6% from the field (90-of-162) for the tournament - a Big 12 Championship record.
3/16/13, 8:20 PM
3/16/13, 8:25 PM
The next win will give their Jayhawks their 2100 victory all-time. Still ranks second in college basketball history
3/16/13, 8:31 PM
The Big12 is ours.
3/16/13, 9:17 PM
@davecampo2 Congratulations to Bill Self and the Jayhawks! Hope all is well!
Confetti cannons explode on the @SprintCenter in celebration of the Jayhawks!
Kansas Gameday (@KUGameday)
3/16/13, 6:49 PM
I can't believe Elijah Johnson just did that to Will Spradling. #and1mixtape
3/16/13, 6:49 PM
Big Lodge just dribbled it thru dudes legs.. in the Big 12 Championship haha
WATCH the EJ 'nutmeg' play here.
Wearing their Big 12 tournament championship T-shirts and hats, with confetti falling from the rafters, Kansas University’s basketball players danced on a podium in front of their fans on Saturday night in Sprint Center.
It was time to party — the Jayhawks electing to gyrate to "The McLemore" — which appeared on YouTube after various KU victories during the 2012-13 regular season — following a 70-54 title win over rival Kansas State.
“To get that last win in the Big 12 means a lot to us. It’s something the seniors can look back on and brag about,” KU senior center Jeff Withey said after scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds and being named Most Outstanding Player of the event.
Withey and his teammates mentioned “bragging rights” more than once, following a game billed as one that would determine the true Big 12 champion.
…“It means a lot to our fans who support us,” Withey said. “They can go to work and not have to hear K-State fans saying they were co-champs. I think we won it outright today.”
Senior guard Travis Releford, who popped out his jersey to the fans before throwing his wristbands into the stands after the final horn, acknowledged, “Now our fans can brag about who is the best team in the conference.
“We went into this saying, ‘Whoever won it, it’s winner take all.’ If they would have won, I don’t think we would have gone around saying we were the better team because they would have proved it. Now we can go out and say we’re the best team in the conference. Our fans have bragging rights. It means a lot to them, too,” Releford added.
“This game had to be played to be decided,” stated senior point guard Elijah Johnson, who scored nine points with six turnovers against three assists.
KU coach Bill Self — he proudly noted that his Jayhawks have “had 18 opportunities to win a championship the last nine years and we’ve got 15” — credited a suffocating KU defense for the victory.
…Perry Ellis, who was named to the five-player all-tournament team, had eight points in a 12-5 surge that upped a 50-41 lead to 62-46.
“It feels good. It’s very humbling,” Ellis said of receiving all-tourney honors with Withey, McGruder, Angel Rodriguez (10 points, 3-12 shooting) and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart.
“I came in here and had no thoughts I would do that. I just come in and try to win. Before the game, coach stressed defense and rebounding, that it’d be a battle. I think we did a good job there.”
LJW Player Ratings: Withey flummoxes KState once again
Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber recently joked at a Big 12 regular-season co-champion net-cutting party that he’d hoped to celebrate the league title a week earlier on the Wildcats’ Senior Day, but poor officiating in the Kansas-Iowa State game got in the way.
Did Weber’s comment give the Jayhawks any extra motivation in Saturday’s 70-54 Big 12 tournament title win over the Wildcats, especially considering KU went 2-0 versus KSU during the regular season?
“Our players definitely knew about it,” Self said. “The thing about it ... I’ll be honest, I don’t pay attention to what people say in front of their fans at a pep rally or whatever to get them juiced up, because I’m sure I’ve said some things that people could probably look at and say, ‘Wow was that intended for us?’
“But one thing about basketball, the calls add up pretty equal over the course of an entire season. And I was glad personally we got a chance to play K-State because even though we tied — but we left little doubt leaving here beating them three times that we were pretty good. We stubbed our toe a couple times we shouldn’t have. But they had a great season. I don’t know if it was motivation for our guys, but they certainly knew about it.”
Despite not letting the KU senior get his mitts on very many of their 60 shots on Saturday, the Wildcats said they felt Withey's presence just about every time they tried to drive to the rim.
“He did his job,” said K-State center Jordan Henriquez, who finished with six points and five rebounds on 2-of-6 shooting. “He altered a lot of shots and he also gave other guys opportunities to get blocks. He changed the game on defense.”
The Wildcats, who shot 35 percent for the game (21-60) and just 22 percent in the first half (6-27), were a woeful 8-of-18 shooting on tries at the rim. That included missing their first six layup attempts and nine of the 15 layups they attempted all night.
“Looking at the percentages right now, the best thing we did was shoot free throws, and we shot 50 percent,” said KSU point guard Angel Rodriguez. “So that says a lot.”
“We did business this weekend,” said senior center Jeff Withey, who was chosen most outstanding player of the tournament after finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds against the Wildcats.
For Johnson and Withey, it all felt so different. Just one week ago, inside a room at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, Kansas coach Bill Self had let his team know the stakes. The Jayhawks had just been blitzed by Baylor in their regular-season finale, a bitter loss that allowed the Wildcats to grab a share of the Big 12 regular-season title.
Earlier that day, the Jayhawks had clinched their share of the Big 12 title, their ninth straight. But it didn’t feel like it. The players sulked, and the plane trip back to Lawrence was absent of any sign of celebration.
But if there was any question about how Kansas would respond, Self laid it out in plain terms.
“Now we get a chance to go to Kansas City,” Self said then, “ … and see who the best team is.”
With Kansas’ 70-54 triumph over Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament title game on Saturday at the Sprint Center, the Jayhawks swept all three games against the Wildcats this season.
But that only scratches the surface of this domination.
The outcome also means KU has won 47 of the previous 50 men’s basketball meetings against Kansas State, and 11 straight in conference tournament games.
Kansas State players said there’s not a mental block against the Jayhawks, but were obviously disappointed Saturday they couldn’t get the job done again.
“Four teams beat them,” guard Angel Rodriguez said. “Why can’t we? I guess they just played better than us today and were the better team.”
Common to all the Kansas victories this season was the Jayhawks’ superb defense. Kansas State shot 34 percent from the floor on Saturday, and tired legs from playing evening games the previous two days was a factor.
But so was the Kansas defense. K-State shot 40 percent or worse in the regular-season games. The Wildcats missed 14 of 19 three-point attempts.
“They do a great job,” junior guard Shane Southwell said. “Once you punch them you know they’re going to punch back.”
Senior guard Martavious Irving said Kansas’ adjusts as well as any team Kansas State regularly faces.
“Bill Self, he’s a mad scientist,” Irving said. “He gets talented players, gets them ready, and their schemes are excellent. But there are going to be wins against them, no doubt about it.
“It’s a rivalry, but in order to be the best you have to beat the best.”
“The biggest thing that we didn’t do tonight was attack the rim like we do normally,” said junior guard Will Spradling, who was held scoreless. “You could tell by the fouls. It was 6-0 at one point. We were really settling for jump shots and threes. That’s something that we can’t do, especially against KU. You have got to attack them and try to get (Jeff) Withey in foul trouble.”
KC Star (Attn KState Fan. Your players understand the foul differential.)
K-State won its first regular-season conference title in 36 years, and that’s a terrific accomplishment. They’ll put this on a banner at Bramlage Coliseum. But in other places, this will be another team that couldn’t beat Kansas — the last two losses by a combined 37 points.
“Oh, there’s no doubt,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said when asked about the importance of beating KU. “It’s a big rivalry, but it’s not a rivalry until we make it a rivalry. And that means beat them somewhere.”
Weber said those words from the interview room at Sprint Center, and coincidentally, in the middle of the answer came a roar from the other side of the wall. It was the KU basketball team, celebrating, again. A fact: there have been more presidential elections (five) since 1994 than K-State wins over KU (three).
The numbers are preposterous. KU has now won 47 of the last 50 against K-State. The losses are so rare they stand out naturally: Jacob Pullen’s 38 points in 2011, Michael Beasley backing up his bizarre prediction that K-State could beat KU in “Africa” in 2008, and K-State breaking KU’s 31-game winning streak against the Wildcats in 2006.
Other than that, nothing. KU’s wins over K-State come so often they should be shown in syndication.
And while this is obviously a point of pride for Kansas — KU senior Travis Releford talked of especially wanting to beat K-State — it’s also bad for the program. Honest. Take it from Jayhawks coach Bill Self.
“We need (K-State) to be good because that brings interest,” he said. “I’ve said this many times: even when Missouri was in our league, it helped us when K-State and Missouri were both good because it raised our level. We want our league to be great. We want our league to be like the Big Ten was this year. Because it raises everybody else’s level.”
KC Star Mellinger
Winning at time of possession can be a critical statistic as long as you score points.
The basketball equivalent of ball control the Wildcats tried failed to do just that — score points. K-State went 10-plus minutes in the first half without a field goal, managed just 16 first-half points, trailed by eight at halftime and lost 70-54.
With the Big 12 Tournament championship on the line, first-year K-State coach Bruce Weber gambled by turning the offense he introduced this season into slow motion.
The Cats had a trial run in the second half of their semifinal game and it worked against Oklahoma State’s tired legs.
The Jayhawks’ legs, however, were full of pep and spring. KU flat got after it, causing the Cats to go stone cold.
“Our defense, first-shot defense, was about as good as it’s been all year long during that (first-half) stretch,’’ KU coach Bill Self said.
The wisdom behind Weber’s strategy can be debated.
By slowing it down, possessions were reduced and the potential existed for a tighter score. Yet in the Cats’ system, those long possessions also required standout Rodney McGruder to circle the court even more to produce off screens. Often, K-State settled for a bad look at the end. It missed 11 straight shots during its first-half drought.
Ellis has found his zone at the right time and appears to be comfortable with the spotlight now on him.
“There’s a lot of pressure at first, but then I realized I don’t need to really worry about that stuff I just need to play,” Ellis said.
The reason he’s felt more comfortable is thanks in large part to senior Jeff Withey who grabbed the Most Outstanding Player for the tournament.
“We’ve got a lot of team chemistry,” Withey said. “It doesn’t matter who’s on the floor. If you’re on the floor you got to play. You’ve got to produce and Perry’s definitely been doing that.”
Ellis and Withey have been major entities, but the key to March is the point guard play.
And the Jayhawks seem to have the right duo working with Tharpe and Johnson to keep the juices flowing.
Still that doesn’t mean there’s not time for reflection and enjoying the accomplishment of beating your in-state rival three times in a year.
As the last part of the confetti fell on the floor, Johnson broke away from the pool of reporters surrounding him and looked at his teammates who were motioning them to come over to their direction.
“I’m full of words right now,” Johnson said. “I could talk all day but I’m going to cut down this net down. That’s what I’ve been waiting to do.”
As the calendar turned to March, Kansas coach Bill Self began to do a little math in his head.
His team’s bench production, to put it bluntly, had been inconsistent and inefficient for most of the season. And as he began to think about his playing rotations for the NCAA Tournament, one thing seemed certain. His starters were going to be playing a lot.
By Saturday night, after KU’s 70-54 victory over Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament title game, Self said his view had changed — and quite rapidly. Freshman forward Perry Ellis punctuated a breakout weekend in Kansas City with 12 points and six rebounds in 14 minutes. And sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe had added 12 points on four three-pointers and two assists in 19 minutes.
“I go from, ‘(Gosh darn), we gotta play our starters 35 minutes, to now, we’re better when we went to the bench,’ ” Self said. “I thought that was important.”
Ellis’ transformation may have been the most important — and surprising. Entering the weekend, Ellis was averaging close to five points per game and struggling to finish inside. In three games at the Sprint Center, he averaged 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while being selected to the all-tournament team. He also knocked down just his second three-pointer of the year on Saturday.
“He’s been terrific,” Self said. “And what he did today, it felt like every time it left his hand the last two days, it was going in. And they weren’t just all bunnies. (He was) making threes, making 15-footers, making all his free throws.”
Ellis had been thrown into major playing time on Friday when senior forward Kevin Young suffered a lower-leg injury during KU’s semifinal victory over Iowa State. He responded with a career-high 23 points, but Young was back in the starting lineup on Saturday against K-State.
That meant Ellis played just 14 minutes, but he combined with Young to record 21 points and 15 rebounds at the power-forward spot.
“In practice leading up to this tournament,” Ellis said, “I just felt like I was getting better and better.”
Big 12/College News
Big 12 Sports: Tourney Central (Stats, video, photos, etc)
3/16/13, 8:09 PM
Big 12 sets total attendance record this week. Largest attended big 12 tourney ever. Well done KC!
Meet newlyweds Eric and Faith DeVault, who took in Saturday’s men’s basketball final between Kansas and Kansas State at the Sprint Center thanks to seats given to them by Eric’s brother and some very excellent friends.
“They bought us tickets,” said Eric, a 2009 KU grad who looked resplendent in a black tuxedo complete with boutonnière and KU tie. “What a great wedding gift.”
Faith, a San Diego native who will move here with her new hubby, wore a lovely off-white wedding gown (and joined Eric in staunch support of the Jayhawks).
The couple got married earlier Saturday at the groom’s parents’ home in Overland Park and plan to reside in Olathe.
After posing for photos with Jay, the KU mascot, alongside the court before the game, Eric and Faith retreated to their seats, still beaming in their newfound matrimony … not to mention the prospect of a Jayhawks tournament title, followed by a honeymoon at sea.
KC Star: Couple gets married, then takes in KU-KState game
How good of a year has it been for Kansas State’s athletic department? Good enough that the Wildcats rolled out a glossy way to promote it today at the Big 12 Tournament.
K-State crammed all of its most recent accomplishments, from the football and basketball teams winning the Big 12 in the same academic year to Erik Kynard winning a silver medal in the Olympics to Collin Klein finishing third in the Heisman Trophy vote to Bruce Weber and Bill Snyder being named conference coaches of the year, into one glossy sheet of paper (front and back) below a catchy header — The Year of the Wildcat.