When Greene came on the floor for pre-game warmups Saturday, he was greeted exactly as you’d expect. He walked in front of the K-State students and proceeded to dunk a basketball. The symbolism was deafening.
Greene was no factor in the game, though, as he played only five minutes and missed the only shot he took.
The best thing about the Jayhawks now is that they’re spreading the wealth. It was Graham against OU, it’s been Ellis often and there are times when Selden is the guy.
Saturday, it was point guard Frank Mason, who scored 16 points, had five assists and turned the ball over only once in 33 minutes.
…If there’s anything Kansas hasn’t needed during its remarkable 11-year run of Big 12 titles, it’s extra motivation. When playing the Jayhawks, it’s best to keep mouths shut.
Wichita Eagle Lutz
After leading by double-figures for much of the game, the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks found themselves in a bit of trouble against the Kansas State Wildcats, up only four after Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt drilled a three-point jumper with four minutes left to play.
Bramlage Coliseum let out the loudest roar of the night, which would only be topped moments later as a familiar sound trumpeted over the PA system.
The Kansas State crowd roared with chants of “F--- KU,” which was likely at least a partial reason as to why the song hadn’t been played in the arena throughout the season.
The University had also taken further precautions in trying to keep profanity and unsportsmanlike acts to a minimum. Those acts included showing a pre-game video about sportsmanship and even sending out a text message at halftime through the campus alert system.
The message asked students to refrain from participating in “embarrassing chants that contain profanity.”
However, all those gestures preaching sportsmanship and appropriateness were quickly thrust aside by what was essentially an endorsement of the ravenous, anything-goes atmosphere. And the crowd ate it up.
The volume level continued to rise, as the music blared over the speakers. It was nearly impossible to hear as the teams huddled during the timeout.
But unlike in past years — not to mention past road games this year — Kansas didn’t wilt. After a turnover on what was blown call, the team hit the shots and free throws it needed to come away with a 72-63 win.
“We’re tired of people storming the court on us,” senior forward Jamari Traylor said. “That’s our mindset: We’re not going to let that happen. We’re not going to lose this game.”
Landen Lucas was gone. Jamari Traylor too. And Perry Ellis again headed to the bench to nurse his second head blow of the second half.
Foul trouble and wayward hands had wiped away both the Kansas basketball team’s three primary big men and its 17-point lead late in Saturday’s game against Kansas State at Bramlage Coliseum. Coach Bill Self was looking for someone to stop the bleeding — and not just the kind emanating from behind Ellis’ right ear.
Enter Hunter Mickelson.
There was 1:19 left when the senior forward checked in, replacing Lucas and Traylor, who had both fouled out, and Ellis. And while a cursory glance at the game’s box score wouldn’t indicate he had much of an impact, the former starter’s lunging disruption of a K-State pass with 44 seconds left created perhaps the most pivotal moment in the heated clash.
“Hunter,” Self said, “may have had the biggest defensive play of the game.”
…The game had all the feeling of a classic in-state rivalry.
While escaping with a victory may be softening Self’s view of the antics, the KU coach said this is everything a college basketball rivalry needs to be.
“To be real honest, we need it heated,” Self said. “It’s good for our state, it’s good for our league, it’s good for everybody to have a rivalry game, and in my mind, I’ve always thought it was. And our players do too.”
Kansas’ “four-up” play is typically run for leading scorer Perry Ellis — only this time, he was determined that he once again wasn’t going to take it for himself.
After setting a high ball screen for Frank Mason in No. 2 Kansas’ 72-63 victory over Kansas State on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum, Ellis received a pass, hesitated and threw it right back to his teammate.
Mason took advantage of a K-State switch, driving right by 6-foot-10 forward Dean Wade for a layup in the midst of a 14-0 KU run.
“What’d I tell you?” the typically softspoken Ellis screamed at Mason. “What’d I tell you?”
…After going through a midseason swoon, Mason appears to be re-emerging for KU. He posted a team-high 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting Saturday while also providing KU with a first-half spark.
Overall, it was the exact kind of performance you would hope for from the Jayhawks against a tough, physical team. More importantly though, it gave a bit of clarity to what had been a murky, clouded Big 12 title picture until Saturday.
This win combined with Oklahoma's win over West Virginia gave Kansas a two-game lead in the Big 12 with four games left to play. That means Kansas is essentially three wins away from locking up its 12th-straight Big 12 title under Bill Self, a streak so long that its improbability is only matched by its ridiculous impressiveness.
Self's ability to create his own legend after taking over from one himself in Roy Williams has been thoroughly remarkable, and there's a good chance that one of the hallmarks of that legend will continue for yet another year following this victory.
Kansas sophomore Svi Mykhailiuk, who had played just seven minutes the last three games, scored nine points off the bench in the Jayhawks’ 72-63 win Saturday at Kansas State.
Mykhailiuk shot 3-for-4 from three-point range, with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 20 minutes.
…“Those three threes he made were big. He was the best player in the game in the first half (two threes). They went zone two possessions. Him making the three right off the bat got ’em out of the zone,” Self added.
Frank Mason III looked into the stands and screamed joyfully as Brannen Greene and Devonté Graham playfully wrestled with each other on the ground as they chased the final defensive rebound with three seconds left in Kansas University’s huge 72-63 victory over rival Kansas State on Saturday in Bramlage Coliseum.
The victory not only gave (23-4, 11-3) KU a two-game lead over West Virginia, Oklahoma and Baylor in the Big 12 race with four games to play, but marked the first-ever “W” in Bramlage for KU’s juniors, sophomores and freshmen.
“I was just happy. We never had a win here since I’ve been here at KU. I was just saying, ‘Let’s go!’ I was happy at the time,” Mason said, of his G-rated statement to the 12,528 fans issued after scoring 16 points with five assists, two steals and one turnover in 33 minutes.
Kansas University senior forward Perry Ellis, who suffered a cut in his head that required 12 stitches to close and had his eye scratched by teammate Wayne Selden Jr. late in Saturday’s victory at Kansas State, has been cleared to practice Monday and should be “good to go” for Tuesday’s game against Baylor, coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Sunday night.
Self said the 6-foot-8 Ellis would not need to wear goggles. He did not practice in the Jayhawks’ short workout Sunday, but is expected to go Monday.
“His head is fine. The eye is sore but getting better,” Self said, noting Ellis was checked out by doctors Saturday night and again Sunday.
“Reports from the ophthalmologist was positive. It is a scratch and it should heal up in a couple of days. We gave him today off and he should be able to practice tomorrow. With his head, he is fine. He just has some stitches on top of it,” Self stated.
The security conga line that stretched practically 94 feet after the final buzzer was not really necessary.
No one felt compelled to storm the basketball court Saturday in Bramlage Coliseum. The university alert, pledge cards and sportsmanship videos worked. Kansas fans elected not to pour onto the floor.
…The teams did not trade handshakes, fist bumps or any kind of pleasantries at the opening tap. There was a cheap double-technical involving Johnson and the Jayhawks’ Frank Mason.
Otherwise, it was simply hard-fought basketball that lacked artistry. And, at the end, lacked sizeable Jayhawks.
Men's basketball: No. 2 Kansas' 38 straight home wins
Arizona and Wichita State both saw their home-court streaks end within the past month. So who has the bragging rights in Division I now? Well, that would be none other than Bill Self and Kansas. As of Feb. 15, the Jayhawks have won 38 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse, which produces one of the toughest environments for any road team.
During the Self era, only nine teams have come away from the Phog with a win. San Diego State was the last team to defeat Kansas at home after its 61-57 shocker on Jan. 5, 2014. To see the last time Kansas lost a Big 12 game at home, you would have to go back a year earlier to Feb. 2, 2013 when Oklahoma State snapped the Jayhawks' 33-game homecourt win streak.
Having the longest active home-win streak isn't the only one the Jayhawks can claim. It also has won 11 straight conference titles and holds the longest NCAA tournament appearance streak at 26.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
Big 12/College News
The most overanalyzed and disingenuously debated court storming of the college basketball season never happened, and not because of administrative policy, but because of a basketball talent gap — and for Kansas State that’s a much bigger concern.
…K-State is behind schedule in Weber’s fourth year, he should and will coach a fifth, and it better be a significant improvement or there might not be a sixth.
Weber has often had an awkward public presentation, from the faux funeral he held for Bill Self after taking over at Illinois to a consistent refusal to accept blame when things go wrong. Optics are important in major-college sports, because they impact donations, revenue, and recruiting.
…Weber took this job with a generally blah welcome from fans, and has not disproved the narrative of a coach who can win with someone else’s players but not his own.
Weber was supposed to be beyond this water treading. When he took the job, people close to him said one of the biggest problems at Illinois was he felt pressure to chase recruits he was not comfortable chasing, and not at his best coaching.
…Patience runs out, eventually. Many coaches wouldn’t be allowed a program reboot like this. He won’t be given two.
Baylor showed why it has been the Big 12's best road team over the last three years, improving to 13-12 in conference play away from home with a 78-64 win against Texas in Austin.
The Bears needed the win to split the season series with Texas after the season's worst shooting performance (35.2 percent from the field) resulted in a Longhorns win on Feb. 1. Given a tough remaining schedule that includes Kansas (Feb. 23), Oklahoma (March 1) and West Virginia (March 5), the importance of Saturday's win seems to resonate even more. Baylor might be too far back in the standings to catch the Jayhawks for a regular season title, but it can improve its chances for a good showing in both postseason tournaments with quality wins.
For all the reasons to love Oklahoma, the knock on this veteran-led team has been an inability to win in these true road games against top-10 opponents. The Sooners entered Saturday's game at No. 10 West Virginia with just one victory in its past 20 road games against top-10 teams, and it looked like another loss was in the cards when it was the Mountaineers, not Sooners, coming up with strong plays late.
At least until the very end, when Oklahoma's least-likely star kickstarted what would be a 12-3 run in the final two minutes.
Khadeem Lattin (nine points, 13 rebounds, six blocks) completed a stellar game with huge plays to solidify the 76-62 victory. The 6-foot-9 sophomore first got an offensive rebound and put it back for a bucket then followed that with a block at the other end in back-to-back possessions in the final two minutes. The other four starters get plenty of deserved attention, but it was Lattin's play over that 30-second stretch that ended up being the difference.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube