Kansas Jayhawks: Remembering the Kevin Durant Game



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Even the most optimistic Kansas Jayhawks fans had to wonder deep down if it was possible for their team to make a comeback against Kevin Durant .

The Oklahoma City Thunder all-star was the best player in the country in 2007 as a freshman, and by the Big 12 Conference Tournament championship game against Kansas, everyone knew it.

Here’s a reminder of how just how good he was in college in case you forgot.

With skills like that, he and the Longhorns were not blowing a 22-point lead.

Not after they surrendered a 16-point, first-half lead against the Jayhawks in a regular season loss just 19 days earlier.

Except they did.

Durant topped his 32-point effort against the Jayhawks in the regular season, with 37 in the title game, but Kansas eventually won the game in overtime, 88-84.

It was not without a monumental fight however.

After trailing by 22 early on, Sherron Collins, Brandon Rush, and Co. went on a 24-7 run to close the gap to five at half.

A Mario Chalmers free throw at the 7:50 mark of the second half, gave the Jayhawks their first lead, 61-60, since 2-0.

Texas would claim it back at 73-71, before a Chalmers three-pointer tied the game (does that sound familiar?) with 16 seconds left to force overtime.

In the extra session, a Julian Wright basket gave Kansas a lead it would never relinquish, as Russell Robinson sank two free throws with five seconds left to the ice the four-point victory.

It was a comeback that had to suck the wind out of a Longhorn team that ultimately underachieved in the NCAA Tournament, losing to USC by 21 points in the second round.

The Jayhawks would bow out in the Elite Eight against UCLA that year, but the memories of Big 12 regular season and tournament titles, while sweeping two games against one of the conference’s best players ever, made for a season to remember.

Here are some stats from the game:

Kansas 88, Texas 84, OT — March 11, 2007

Leaders for Kansas

Points — Sherron Collins, 20

Rebounds — Julian Wright, 8

Assists — Collins, 3

Steals — Brandon Rush, 1

Blocks — Rush, 3

Leaders for Texas

Points — Kevin Durant, 37

ReboundsDamion James, 14

AssistsD.J. Augustin, 6

Steals — Durant, 2

Blocks — Durant, 6

Biggest lead: Texas 22, Kansas 5

Field Goals: Texas 27-71 (.370), Kansas 30-75 (.400)

Free Throws: Texas 24-32 (.750), Kansas 20-23 (.870)

On a side note to those who think the Jayhawks benefit too much from calls at Allen Fieldhouse — that certainly wasn’t the case here, although hitting said free throws did seem to make the difference. 

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Four Unbelievable Facts from the Bill Self Era

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