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Kansas wins share of Big 12, falls to Baylor
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 9, 2013 @ 10:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
WACO, Texas — After Kansas State had lost earlier in the day, Kansas took the court at the Ferrell Center knowing that it had already clinched at least a share of a ninth straight Big 12 title, a remarkable achievement in this age of parity.
The Jayhawks were prepared for a coronation. And they promptly were clobbered.
A desperate Baylor team, which had been clinging to slim NCAA tournament at-large hopes, turned in a blistering shooting effort against the nation’s leaders in field goal percentage defense and soundly beat Kansas, 81-58.
Though Baylor got zero points from its bench, its starters shot 57.7 percent from the field. Guard Pierre Jackson made 11 of 13 field goal attempts, scoring 28 points. Forward Cory Jefferson also made 11 of 13 shots from the floor, scoring 25 points.
Most surprising, Jefferson, who had missed all seven of his three-point shots in his career, made all three of his three-point attempts tonight. Asked if he knew Jefferson had that outside shooting range, Kansas coach Bill Self said, “Hell, no.”
And with that, another upset of a top-five team. Another court storming, this one witnessed by former Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, who congratulated Baylor players before eluding students rushing onto the court on his way to the back of the arena.
The loss left Kansas (26-5, 14-4 Big 12) with conflicted emotions. Though it had steered its season back on course following its first three-game losing streak in eight years, though it clinched a share of the league title with Kansas State, the Jayhawks will enter the Big 12 tournament with the sour taste of their second-worst loss RPI-wise of the season.
Kansas senior Jeff Withey said the team reminded itself only briefly after the game that it had captured a share of the conference title.
“It does not feel like we won it [Big 12 title] at all … ” Withey said. “Maybe we thought it was ours already.”
The result gave Baylor its second top-50 RPI victory of the season, enhancing the tournament hopes for the Bears, who likely still need to win … [For more on Kansas wins share of Big 12, falls to desperate Baylor, click here.]
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