On Saturday, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and second-seeded Kansas State Wildcats renewed their Sunflower State Showdown for a third time this season, only this time was for the Big 12 conference tournament championship. The first two meetings went to Kansas. And the third, goes to the Jayhawks once again with a 70-54 win over the Wildcats.
With the win, Kansas improved to 29-5 overall, and likely clinched a top-seed in the NCAA tournament. Kansas State fell to 27-7 on the year.
Jeff Withey led the Jayhawks with 17 points, while reserves Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe, both scored 12 points. Kevin Young added nine points and 10 rebounds. Ben McLemore was held to five points. Rodney McGruder led the Wildcats with 18 points, and Angel Rodriguez was the only other Kansas State player to reach double-figures with 10 points.
Cold shooting was the name of the game in the first half. Neither team looked sharp on the offensive side of things, with Kansas State totaling just 16 points in the half. Kansas wasn’t much better, only scoring 24 points. The Wildcats shot a measly 24% from the field, going without a field goal for 10 minutes until Rodriguez hit a three-pointer.
Kansas broke open a close game in the second half, with an three-pointer from Tharpe, putting the team ahead 38-28. From there, the lead never went under 10 points again, as the Jayhawks pushed it to 17 at 65-48.
The Jayhawks should have clinched a top-seed with the win in the NCAA tournament, though anything can happen. Tomorrow, we will know how the pairings shake out.
Don’t forget to like us on facebook @ through the phog