Kansas basketball chokes away win and falls to Villanova on the road

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Kansas basketball had multiple chances to put Villanova away and get a top 20 road win, but the Jayhawks ultimately fell to the Wildcats.

Kansas basketball fell 55-56 to #18 Villanova this morning in the Jayhawks’ first true road game of the season. It was a tough game for a Kansas fan to watch, but it could turn out to be a positive learning experience for the players.

Both teams had ugly shooting performances. Kansas and Villanova shot for less than 45% on the day, and neither team could get going from behind the arc.

The Jayhawks were 3-of-13 from deep, while Nova was 10-of-41 for just 24%, but a Villanova three-pointer with 24 seconds left gave the Wildcats the win.

Kansas basketball had lots of chances to put the game away before that though.

With 1:50 left on the clock, freshman Christian Braun was fouled on a made layup. The Jayhawks were up 55-51 with a chance to go up six points, but Braun couldn’t convert the and-one. Kansas got a stop on the ensuing Villanova possession and was still winning 55-51 with just 1:15 left to play.

Kansas point guard Devon Dotson was dribbling the ball when Collin Gillespie picked his pocket and scored on a breakaway layup that made the game 53-55 with just over a minute to go.

With 39 seconds to play, David McCormack missed a jump shot, and Villanova came down the court with half a minute to go. That’s when every Kansas basketball fan’s worst nightmare came to fruition.

Jermaine Samuels, a career 32% three-point shooter, knocked down a triple to give Nova a one-point lead with 24 seconds to play. Devon Dotson was fouled after the inbound and sent to the line with just 17 seconds left and an opportunity to give Kansas the lead.

It was a one-and-one, so Dotson would have to make the first to have a shot at the second free throw. Dotson, a career 80% free throw shooter, missed the free throw. Kansas was forced to foul immediately, as their only chance to win was to put Vilanova on the line and get the ball back.

Kansas had to foul the Wildcats multiple times to get them in the bonus, and on the final inbound pass after a foul, Dotson stole the ball. The Jayhawks had possession, down one point with just 11 seconds left to play.

Dotson drove into the lane with seconds ticking off of the clock and banked the ball off the glass. The ball hit the rim and fell to the ground as time expired, giving Villanova the win.

While Dotson may sound like the reason Kansas got the L, it was a team effort. The Jayhawks shot 40% from the free throw line, in addition to 23% from behind the three-point line.

Isaiah Moss struggled, going 0-5 from the field including 0-3 from behind the three-point line. The Jayhawks also lost one of their most valuable players in Marcus Garrett.

Garrett was injured in the first half and never returned for Kansas. Not only did the Jayhawks lose their lockdown defender, but also a wing that averaged 9.4 points, 4.5 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. Missing Garrett hurt Kansas down the stretch, and hopefully, he’ll return sooner rather than later.

"“I don’t think that it is going to be something that, hopefully, drags out to conference play, but we don’t know yet.” Bill Self on Garrett’s injury"

While this loss was rough, it’s December. The sky isn’t falling, and a one-point loss in a road environment to a top 20 team is far from the end of the world. There’s lots of basketball to be played this season, and Bill Self isn’t going to let this team fail.

RANKED. Top ten Jayhawks of the decade. light

Kansas basketball isn’t going anywhere. This season has been wild, and when it’s all said and done, the Jayhawks are going to be in the national title conversation. Maybe a late December loss is just what this team needs to get even more motivated.