KU, K-State face off Friday at Big 12 tournament — Sunflower Showdown

KU, K-State face off Friday at Big 12 tournament — Sunflower Showdown

KU, K-State face off Friday at Big 12 tournament — Sunflower Showdown

Kansas State could have crumbled when TCU's Desmond Bane knocked down a desperation 3-pointer to force overtime in a quarterfinal of the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday.

The Sunflower Showdown never lacks intensity or drama, but Friday night's newest installment of the rivalry will have an extra dash of importance when Kansas and Kansas State meet for a spot in the Big 12 tournament championship.

The Cowboys agreed that Kansas came out with more fire than it did Saturday. The Jayhawks are 9-0 against their in-state rival at the tournament.

If the Cowboys miss the tourney, they can blame Malik Newman, who went off for a career-high 30 points on Thursday while shooting 11-of-15 from the field.

The teams opened the second half trading baskets and Tavarius Shine's jumper made it 52-50 Kansas with 14:59 left in the game. He struggled in the first two games against Kansas, but if he can take advantage of Kansas' thin frontcourt, it would provide a major boost for K-State.

Kansas ranks 145th in rebounds per game (35.4) while Kansas State ranks 277th (30.6).

Although Makol Mawien led all scorers with 29 points, Kansas State fought an uphill battle without Dean Wade and Barry Brown.

They'll rise further if they can top either Oklahoma State or Kansas in the Big 12 semifinals on Friday.

No. 8 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 68 vs. Oklahoma was once also a top 10 team and looked like one of the best teams in all of college basketball, with freshman sensation Trae Young dazzling at point guard every single night making his team look like a legitimate national title contender.

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The game wasn't without drama. Devonte' Graham tallied 15 points to go along with eight assists, Mykhailiuk went for 12 points, all of which came from 3-point range, and Lagerald Vick added 10 points.

Newman sunk two more clutch 3-pointers over the next three minutes and the Jayhawk lead was back to 10 points, 65-55, with 6:33 left to play. The Jayhawks will face Kansas State at 6 p.m. Friday in the Big 12 tournament semifinals. Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma were all considered bubble teams that will make the tournament.

The Horned Frogs will head back to Fort Worth and await their NCAA Tournament destination. The shot got the Jayhawks out to their largest lead at 16 points in the opening seconds of the second stanza.

Texas Tech is tough. Will it still get a chance to do that on college basketball's biggest stage, the NCAA tournament?

The Longhorns weren't almost as efficient as their counterparts-they shot 43.1 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from three-but Jacob Young's out-of-nowhere eruption off the bench kept them afloat. They combined for 14 points and 14 rebounds.

With their conference tournament stay over, the Longhorns will now sit and wait for the selection committee's decision. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is one of the "Last Four In" like Lunardi has, playing a play-in game against Louisville as a No. 11 seed in the first round.

Still, the Sooners kept trying to land the blow that would get them back in the game. "We need to be better than that and play hard no matter who is in the game".

The Mountaineers were careless in their own right with 16 turnovers. Ahmad registered 21 points, and Carter had a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists. (19 points) and Jevon Carter (18 points) to help establish double-digit breathing room.

It was hardly a surprise, given the teams split in their regular-season meetings. Six of its victories came against ranked opponents. On the season, Kansas State is averaging 72.7 ppg on 47.2% shooting from the field.

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