No. 7 Texas topped No. 3 Kansas 76-56 for the Big 12 title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dylan Disu overcame early foul trouble to score 18 points, Marcus Carr and Sir’Jabari Rice each added 17 and seventh-ranked Texas silenced a large pro-Kansas crowd 76-56 over the third-ranked Jayhawks in the title game in the Big 12 tournament on Saturday night.

After more than two decades without a Big 12 Tournament championship, the Longhorns (26-8) have won two of their past three, and likely finish as the No. 2 seed in next week’s NCAA Tournament with their appearance in Kansas City.

With interim coach Rodney Terry in charge, the Longhorns built a 39-33 halftime lead, extended it to 20 in the ensuing possession and headed down to a shower of confetti during a net-cutting celebration.

Jalen Wilson scored 24 points and Joseph Yesufu, pressured into the starting lineup by injuries, finished with 11 for the Jayhawks (27-7), who have won 13 of their previous 16 trips to the Big 12 final.

The question now is whether the defending national champions did enough before Saturday night to earn the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament, and with it, a favorable trip through Kansas City in the regional round.

Kansas was once again without Hall of Fame coach Bill Self, who went to the emergency room for an undisclosed medical procedure before the quarterfinals. Self’s longtime assistant and acting coach, Norm Roberts, once again selected the sideline kicks for the championship.

On the other side was Terry, who certainly didn’t expect to be pulling the strings for Texas. But when Chris Beard was fired for an off-field incident early in the season, the former Fresno State and UTEP coach not only kept his talented team together, but led them to a second-place finish in the regular season.

Right behind the Jayhawks, who were also the defending Big 12 Tournament champions.

Both teams were without starters Saturday night due to injuries – Kevin McCullar Jr. for the Jayhawks, Timmy Allen for the Longhorns — but there was still plenty of star power on display inside the T-Mobile Center.

Wilson, the league’s player of the year, kept the Jayhawks afloat during the first half. He scored 17 points, more than half of the total, while banging the glass and even picking up a steal.

Texas, meanwhile, relied on depth and balance to forge a 39-33 halftime lead. He had to after losing Disu, who had already been a revelation in the previous two rounds, with two fouls less than eight minutes into the game.

When the great man returned, he immediately set to work. Disu had several baskets in the opening minutes, and a nearly five-minute scoring drought by Kansas allowed the Longhorns to extend their lead to 53-41 with 12 minutes left.

By that point, the 500 or so Texas fans sounded like 15,000. And the 15,000 or so Kansas fans were dead quiet.

The knockout blow came moments later, when Disu put in a basket by Rice and Arterio Morris made an ally-oop dunk. That pushed the Longhorns’ lead to 70-50 with 4 1/2 minutes left, and while Roberts finally called a timeout to slow the offense, it came too late to make a difference.


McCullar, the Jayhawks’ defensive dynamo, dealt with back spasms that flared up again during the semifinal win over Iowa State; he watched from the bench in sweat. The Longhorns were without Allen for the entire tournament as the veteran leader rested from a calf injury ahead of the NCAA tournament.


Texas shot 50% from the field, but was especially good inside the arc — the Longhorns were just 4 of 17 on 3-pointers. And they rarely went without a basket for more than a few minutes, preventing Kansas from getting its crowd into the game.

Kansas was forced to use some other lineups without McCullar, playing rookie MJ Rice with extended minutes. The Jayhawks rarely seemed in sync, and it was evident in Dajuan Harris Jr. who turned the ball over four times while running the point.


The Longhorns and Jayhawks are headed to the NCAA Tournament. On Sunday evening, they will find out who, when and where they will play in the first round.


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