The highly anticipated Big 12 Championship game was upon us, the three seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders faced off against the one-seed Kansas Jayhawks for the Big 12’s automatic bid for March Madness, and it was yet another exciting game between the two teams.
For the Jayhawks, David McCormick opened up the scoring with an inside shot near the rim. He would end up with 18 points for the day, the most by any Jayhawk. Ochai Agbaji was honored with the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament with 16 points and 7 rebounds at the end of the game. Another Jayhawk who was voted into the All-Tournament team, Christian Braun, ended his tournament with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Senior guard, Remy Martin also finished with double-digit points with 12, while also racking up 4 rebounds; 4 assists; and 3 steals. The solid play off the bench from big-man Mitch Lightfoot throughout the tournament did not continue in this game, the Super-Senior from Gilbert, Arizona, sprained his knee according to Bill Self.
As for Texas Tech, Terrence Shannon Jr., a junior guard out of Chicago, Illinois led the way for the Red Raiders at the halftime mark, with nine points before the break. Marcus Santos-Silva came off the bench and had a great performance for the senior forward, the leading scorer off the bench for Tech. Bryson Williams, the Big 12 first-team selection for TTU and transfer from UTEP, ran into foul trouble early on into the second half and ended up fouling out near the end of the game. Williams ended his tournament with a place in the All-Tournament team, he joins Terrence Shannon from Texas Tech on the team, who had had 14 points in the Championship game.
Early on in the game, the two teams couldn’t seem to get themselves separated in terms of the points. The Red Raiders landed their shots at a higher rate than the Jayhawks, however, the teams were either tied in points or in a one-possession game. This continued into the second half,
as both teams seemed to have each other’s number on defense. This echoes the previous game between the two, a double-overtime 94-91 win for the Jayhawks.
The second half began by continuing the trend of the first half, the game never got away from either team as it had previously for Kansas in the tournament. Texas Tech took it to the Jayhawks all game, however, they just could not keep KU off the free-throw line, Kansas had attempts from the charity stripe. Kansas began to take off with the lead by going on two 6-0 runs during the game, as Texas Tech had two scoring droughts of two to three minutes.
Final score: 74-65 as Kansas wins the Big 12 championship tournament. Kansas wraps up Big 12 play with a great win for seeding in the March Madness tournament.