Jayhawks top Wildcats at Big 12 Tournament

The Kansas Jayhawks cruised to their twelfth straight victory with a 85-63 win over the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday afternoon. There was a fairly balanced effort all-around for the Jayhawks, but four players in particular stuck out.

Perry Ellis, Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham and even Carlton Bragg shined in a surprising performance.

Perry Ellis was his usual consistent self, scoring 21 points and retrieving 6 rebounds. Ellis was also on the receiving end of many thunderous jams, lighting up the very Jayhawk-heavy crowd at the Sprint Center.

Mason and Graham continued to work well together, as they have all season. The pair combined for 15 assists, while Mason scored 16 points and Graham put in 11. Bill Self was pleased with the play of his two point guards.

“When we went to the Finals in [2012], we played two points. It’s something we got away from the last two years in large part because you’ve got Oubre and Wiggins. Talented, [but the] ball probably didn’t move and [they] probably didn’t create easy opportunities for other guys near as much.”

The serious surprise from Thursday’s victory was the play of Carlton Bragg. Bragg put in 12 points on 5-6 shooting from the field and 2-2 shooting from the three point line. Bragg was awarded for his performance with his first press conference appearance of the season. He was visibly nervous as the first question went his way.

Bill Self had a laugh about it. “This is Carlton’s first time in the interview room and he may be a little nervous.”

For Kansas State, not much was going their way all day, with the lone bright spot being Justin Edwards, who erupted for 23 points in the losing effort.
Kansas plays Baylor at 6 P.M. tomorrow at the Sprint Center in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship. Tune-in to 90.7 FM, KJHK, to hear live coverage of the events throughout the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.