Texas men’s basketball wins Big 12 championship by beating Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Texas ended its Big 12 campaign on Saturday with the biggest prize in the conference. Now the Longhorns have their sights set on another trophy.

Texas showed plenty of guts, defense, rebounds, grit and a balanced offense as they captured their second Big 12 tournament title in three years with a stunning 76-56 win over Kansas at T -Kansas City Mobile Center.

Oh, and did we mention the grain?

Rodney Terry, the interim coach who keeps defending his full-time job, wouldn’t want it any other way.

“The deal coming up, we knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “But we were excited about it, and the approach of these guys and their attitude towards this tournament was that they wanted to be champions. They really did it, and they did it. I’m proud and excited for them.

Dylan Disu continued his scorching game in the paint with 18 points to cap a remarkable weekend in the heart of Big 12 country. The 6-foot-9 Hendrickson High School senior scored 44 total points on 68% shooting during of Texas’ three tournament wins, and he added 25 boards, three blocks and five interceptions.

But all material comes from the defence, Disu insisted after the game.

“We’ve definitely been talking about it all week to put it on our defense,” he said. “We’re really pushing that, and we have to get as high as we can to the level that we know we’re capable of playing at. There aren’t too many teams that can do what we did tonight. We we just left everything there in defense.

Disu’s offense was also very good, Kansas interim coach Norm Roberts said.

“‘Disu has really changed his game, and he’s really improved a lot,” he said. “He’s a big factor because he’s big, he can score from perimeter, he hits floats , then he can send smaller guys out, so that really helped them with an inside presence.”

A Texas team loaded with role players took turns in lead roles. Marcus Carr came out of a scoring crisis by scoring 17 points. Brock Cunningham, the Westlake product who is the team’s unlikely working-class hero, seemed to find every stray bullet as the Longhorns pushed in the second half. He also contributed a pair of 3-pointers that helped give the Longhorns a 39-33 halftime lead.

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Jabari Rice started in a third straight game in place of injured Timmy Allen and looked like his old microwave with 17 points. Freshman Arterio Morris went 10-0 in the first half and climbed over the edge to complete an alley-oop from Rice that gave Texas a 70-50 lead and practically sealed the victory with 4 minutes, 30 minutes left in the game.

In total, every Texas player in the rotation scored in what Terry called a total team effort.

“Everyone on the field was doing their part, cutting, moving and knocking down shots,” Carr said. “Everyone on the pitch was a threat.”

That balanced effort nullified a one-man show by Jalen Wilson of Kansas, who scored 24 points.

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The two best teams in the Big 12 during the regular season, the meeting between No. 7 Texas (26-8) and No. 3 Kansas (27-7) appropriately concluded the hoops fiesta in Kansas City. Kansas won the outright regular season title while the Longhorns finished alone in second place. The teams shared their two regular season meetings.

Both teams entered the title race with an interim head coach and without a key player. Roberts, a longtime assistant, replaced Self, who missed the entire tournament after undergoing emergency medical surgery earlier in the week. Forward Kevin McCullar Jr. also missed the Jayhawks game after reportedly injuring his back in Friday’s semifinal win over Iowa State.

On the Texas bench, Terry has served as interim head coach since former head coach Chris Beard was suspended following a December 12 arrest for assaulting a family member after a confrontation with his fiancée. at their West Austin home. Like the Jayhawks, Texas has been without a top forward in Timmy Allen, who missed all three of the Longhorns’ Big 12 tournament games after injuring his right leg in the regular-season win over Kansas in La last week.

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Kansas and Texas share high hopes for NCAA Tournament

Both teams entered the game with a high seed in the secure NCAA Tournament, but will learn their fates when the NCAA Selection Committee releases full brackets tomorrow at 5 p.m. Kansas, the defending national champion, has a good chance of claiming the No.1 seed despite the loss while Texas has secured a spot on at least the No.2 line.

If the Longhorns grab at least one No. 2 seed, they’ll open the NCAA Tournament in thin air. Teas has claimed 26 spots since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The Longhorns were seeded No. 1 once in 2003 and seeded No. 2 twice, in 2006 and 2008.

No matter where the NCAA selection committee puts Texas, Terry said the Longhorns’ performance in Kansas City proved they can compete with any team in the country.

“I think our work has been pretty good,” he said. “We played this season with a (mindset) that every game is an NCAA tournament game. Our guys have had an amazing run all season. And I think by playing in the best league in the country, we’ve made a really good case for whatever comes out.

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