LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- The Big 12 race isn't over after all.
Kansas, blown out by 25 points at Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) four days ago,
finds itself back in a tie for first with the Longhorns with one
game to go.
Playing perhaps their best defense of the year, the
Jayhawks (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today; No. 18 AP) beat Colorado 75-54 Wednesday night at the same time Texas
A&M was upsetting Texas 46-43 on Acie Law's 3-pointer at the
So it's all even.
Kansas (21-7, 12-3) finishes Saturday at Kansas State while
Texas (24-5, 12-3) plays host on Sunday to Oklahoma (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP).
"It was so great to win that game, to see that we're back in a
tie for the Big 12," Kansas guard Stephen Vinson said. "There was
some excitement on the bench after the game."
Colorado (18-8, 8-7), which lost to Kansas for the 34th time in
35 meetings, missed 22 of its first 23 field goal attempts and
twice turned the ball over when the Buffs apparently forgot about
the shot clock.
"It was embarrassing," Colorado's Martane Freeman. "I looked
up at the scoreboard with like 7 minutes left and we had four
points. I just shook my head."
Colorado came into the game tied with Texas A&M for fourth place
and for possibly for the league's fourth bid to the NCAA
But facing Kansas, the nation's leader in field goal percentage
defense, they seemed almost helpless until Scott Senger got inside
for a layup with 1:47 left in the first half.
That made it 27-9 and Colorado then ended the half on a spurt,
making three baskets to shoot 19 percent (5-for-27) and trail
"We probably played as good a defense the first 15 minutes as
we've played all year," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "I thought
our defense was great. We had a comfortable lead, but we should
have scored eight or 10 more points."
Colorado cut the lead to eight points in the second half, but
then Mario Chalmers hit two key 3-pointers for the Jayhawks, who
finished their home season 14-2.
"We have a ton of guys on this team that can score. I think
we've proven that all year," Colorado's Chris Copeland said. "But
we just didn't get it done tonight. I was surprised."
After Chalmers' 3-pointer restored Kansas' 11-point lead, Julian
Wright hit two free throws and thundered home a crowd-pleasing
dunk. C.J. Giles then got another basket and Brandon Rush made it
70-54 with a 3-pointer from the wing.
Chalmers had 14 points and Rush added 13 for Kansas, which got
outrebounded 45-38 and was only 10-of-22 from the free throw line.
Giles had 11 points and Russell Robinson 10.
Colorado, which has lost 23 straight to ranked opponents on the
road, got 12 points from Marcus Hall. Colorado's Richard Roby, the
fifth-leading scorer in the Big 12, had only two points in the
first half and finished with 10, almost eight below his average.
Colorado coach Ricardo Patton drew a technical foul with 7:49
left when he ran almost to the Kansas bench to protest a non-call
after Freeman was knocked to the floor.
"I saw him jump in the air and go for the rebound," Patton
said. "And the guy slid under him and he flipped over the guy's
back. It looked like everyone that should have seen it just turned
away and didn't want to see it. I was concerned for my player."
Max Falkenstein, who is retiring after 60 years broadcasting
Kansas football and basketball games, was honored at halftime of
his last home game.