LAWRENCE, Kan. — The chants of “10 straight” rained down, and Kansas coach Bill Self left the court with both hands raised and fingers spread, signifying a decade of Jayhawk dominance in Big 12 basketball.
No. 5-ranked Kansas clinched a share of the Big 12 title for the 10th consecutive season Monday night with an 83-75 win over Oklahoma in front of 16,300 at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.
The Sooners didn’t make anything easy, though.
Oklahoma scratched and clawed its way back into the game after Kansas made run after run. But the Sooners couldn’t quite hold up in the final 3:30.
“I’m proud of the guys’ ability to fight back and get back into it, but we’ll just keep learning,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “We’ll learn that every possession is too significant. I thought a couple times we didn’t complete a play, and they converted on the other end.
“We’ve got to learn to be just a little stronger in those moments.”
Two of those thwarted plays came back to bite the Sooners in the closing minutes.
After Ryan Spangler missed a free throw that could’ve cut the Kansas’ lead to two points, Naadir Tharpe came up with a steal and then converted a layup to put the Jayhawks up by five.
Then, after Joel Embiid blocked a 15-foot jumper by Spangler, Andrew Wiggins nailed a 3-pointer to give the Jayhawks a cushion.
Wiggins, one of Kansas’ touted freshmen, usually doesn’t show much emotion on the court. But he pumped his fist after hitting a shot that all but sealed the game.
“The main thing is that we didn’t take care of the ball in critical times,” OU’s Cam Clark said. “We have to learn from that, and we know we are still growing and it’s just errors that we can get better on.”
Wiggins finished with 15 points. Tharpe led the Jayhawks with 19 points.
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