Kansas vs. Kansas State Gameplay Score, Takeaway: No. 8 Jayhawks Get revenge on No. 7 Wildcats in Top 10 Showdown

Two weeks after falling in overtime during the first Sunflower Showdown of the season, No. 8 Kansas got revenge on Tuesday with a 90-78 win over No. 7 Kansas State behind another huge night from Jalen Wilson. The Jayhawks star reached the 20-point mark for the fifth straight game as he finished with 20 to lift KU (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) into a tie for second in the league standings with the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3).

Wilson helped Kansas build their lead while the defense helped the Jayhawks maintain it as they tied K-State to a season-worst shooting at 33.9% from the floor. Star guards Marquis Noel and Contay Johnson combined for 45 points for Kansas State, but made only 5 of 18 attempts from the ground in the second half. While again emerging, Wilson scored nine different players for Kansas with goaltender DaJuan Harris hitting a career high with 18.

A Kansas State win would have earned the Wildcats their first season sweep of the Jayhawks since the 1962-63 season and their first win at Allen Fieldhouse since 2006. But Kansas continued to show that their stunning 83-60 home loss to TCU on January 21 was just an aberration. That defeat was part of a three-game losing streak for Kansas that ended with a win over Kentucky on Saturday.

With back-to-back wins now over Kentucky and Kansas State, it officially looks like Kansas is back on the right track as the national champions advance toward another postseason run.

traces of brackets

When Kansas State beat Kansas in the first meeting, it helped the Wildcats legitimize their resume. Shortly thereafter, they shot up to the expected No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament in Jerry Palm The science of braces. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks have slipped off the streak of a projected No. 1 seed amid their losing streak. But with Tuesday’s win, the Jayhawks are back in the expected No. 1 seed streak and K-State will fall back to the No. 2 seed streak, according to Palm.

There are still several weeks before Selection Sunday, but the Jayhawks are 9-4 in Quad 1 games now while Kansas State is 5-3 in Quad 1 chances. Going 3-3 over their last six games, the Wildcats host 10th-ranked Texas on Saturday.

Harris’ big night

Going into the season, it looked like a bigger offensive role could be dugout for Harris, who averaged 5.4 points per game as the starting point guard during last season’s National League title run. But going into Tuesday’s contest, Harris averaged just 6.4 points in league games and seemed reluctant to seek baskets for himself. Over four games spanning January, Harris scored a total of five points on 2-of-18 shooting as the Jayhawks lost three of those four games.

Against Kentucky, however, Harris bounced back from Funk with eight points, including a pair of huge early three-pointers to help the Jayhawks get back in the winning column. He took it to another level against K-State, especially in the second half as the trio of Wilson, Grady Dick and Kevin McCullar combined to shoot 3 of 14 from the field. Struggling with starting options, Harris took it upon himself to assist and scored 12 in the second half alone.

bench contributions

Kansas entered the game ranked 346th nationally in bench minutes, per kenpom.com. But the Jayhawks received significant contributions from their reserves, even with backup center Zuby Ejiofor missing the game with a foot injury. Bobby Pettiford, Joseph Yessoufou, Zach Clemens and Ernest Ode Jr. scored between 10 and 15 minutes off the bench, each hitting shots from the field as KU edged bench Kansas State 19-9.

As the Jayhawks step up their title defense and cruise through the Big 12 grind, receiving consistent contributions from the bench will be essential. Tuesday’s game was a step in the right direction in that regard.

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