Kansas did it again.
With a 74-72 road win over No. 6 Texas Tech, the No. 8 Jayhawks set an NCAA record by clinching its 14th consecutive regular season Big 12 title. And it could not have happened without the efforts of Devonte’ Graham.
The senior guard scored a game-high 26 points, including the two decisive shots in the game’s final two minutes after the Red Raiders tied things up at 68-68 with 2:29 to play. Moments after having his dunk attempt blocked by Zhaire Smith, Graham drilled a long two with the shot clock running down to give his team the lead with 1:32 to play.
And after a Red Raiders turnover, Graham sealed the win by hitting a circus shot with 31 seconds remaining, giving his team a 72-68 lead.
With the win, Kansas bested a record for consecutive conference titles held by UCLA. The Bruins won 13 Pac-10 titles in a row from 1967-79. And it could be argued that this year’s title is the most impressive Kansas has had under Bill Self.
The Jayhawks are now 23-6 (12-4) in a year where the Big 12 is much more competitive from top-to-bottom than it has been in recent years. A few weeks ago, it looked like Texas Tech would finally be the team to dethrone the Jayhawks, but Self’s squad, after a 16-point loss at Baylor, has rattled off four straight victories.
All the while, Graham, while Trae Young and Oklahoma have scuffled, has made a strong push for Big 12 Player of the Year. Self certainly thinks so:
— Jonathan Deutsch (@wibwJonathan) February 25, 2018
The Jayhawks round out the regular season at home against Texas and on the road at Oklahoma State before entering postseason play.
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