Kansas basketball ousted from Big 12 Tournament after lopsided defeat to Cincinnati

The Jayhawks bowed out of the Big 12 Tournament early with a blowout defeat to UC in an awful team effort.
Cincinnati Bearcats forward John Newman III (15) and Kansas Jayhawks guard Dajuan Harris Jr. (3)
Cincinnati Bearcats forward John Newman III (15) and Kansas Jayhawks guard Dajuan Harris Jr. (3) / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Expectations heading into the game were not high, but the Kansas basketball team performed worse than expected when they took the floor in the T-Mobile Center for the second round of the Big 12 Tournament last night. Cincinnati clobbered the Jayhawks 72-52 in an all-around embarrassing effort by Bill Self's group.

The shorthanded Jayhawks trailed by 13 points after the first half as they missed star players Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar due to injuries. Kansas cut the deficit to as little as three points in the second half, but a shooting slump erased the chances of a comeback to advance to the next round.

Poor shooting was an issue throughout the night for Kansas, finishing the game 21-for-62 from the field (33.9%) and 3-for-20 from 3-point range (15.0%). Four of the squad's five starters struggled immensely with the ball in their hands, besides junior forward KJ Adams, who scored a team-high 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting.

Elmarko Jackson and Nick Timberlake slid into the starting five to replace Dickinson and McCullar, but their impacts were hardly felt. They combined to shoot 4-for-20, amassing 10 points. Freshman guard Johnny Furphy had the worst outing of the night, shooting 1-for-8 and turning the ball over three times en route to his lowest point total since becoming a starter.

No. 11 Cincinnati won its second game of the tournament to advance to the quarterfinals. It was the first time Kansas did not win a single game in the Big 12 Tournament since they were eliminated by TCU in the first round in 2017.

As the team awaits Selection Sunday and works its way back to full health, they will receive an extended rest period until the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament, which is scheduled for Mar. 22-23. Coach Self said both Dickinson and McCullar should return by KU's first-round matchup.