KU Basketball: Jayhawks Climb Mountain of Deficit


KU Basketball overcame a 14-point deficit with less than three minutes to play in regulation to secure the drivers’ seat in the Big 12 with an overtime win. This very well could have been the best comeback in KU basketball history.

Frank Mason III had 24 points, Landen Lucas and Josh Jackson combined for 24 rebounds, and Lagerald Vick added 14 as Kansas defeated West Virginia in a 84-80 come from behind overtime win.

After setting the record for the loudest indoor crowd roar in the world at 130.4 decibels the crowd at Allen Fieldhouse was ready for Big Monday. Unfortunately, the hype set by the crowd did not transition over as West Virginia started the game on a 10-0 run against the Jayhawks.

Kansas looked sluggish and bewildered for most of the first half, Frank Mason still looked like he was dealing with the flu, and Jackson was forcing plays and trying to create offense that just did not work.

Usually in matchups with West Virginia, the press attacks Kansas to a point of turnover laden play, but KU was just beating themselves. Eventually, Kansas bounced back from the early West Virginia run by taking the lead at the 6:48 mark in the first half.

Finally, it seemed as if the offense was getting its footing. KU basketball looked poise to end the half with the lead. With the final minutes of the first half ticking away, Kansas left empty handed at halftime. West Virginia ended on a 8-0 run with an exclamation point by Jevon Carter at the buzzer.

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After the half, Kansas returned to their sputtering offense. The offense consisted of questionable drives to the bucket, weak post play, and an irrelevant Frank Mason. The only performance worth mentioning was Lagerald Vick’s poised play at point guard.

KU Basketball continued to struggle and with about three minutes left to play, fans started to exit the building. It looked as if KU would lose two consecutive home games for the first time since 1988.

Following a three by Frank Mason, Bill Self called for the press, and West Virginia could not keep up. West Virginia became frustrated with missed free throws, and a growing crowd that was returning from the parking lot.

Bob Huggins started to see his 25,000 dollar bonus slipping away from him as Kansas stormed back with clutch threes by Devonte’ Graham and turnovers. Eventually the game came down to Frank Mason, who sank two free throws for a 71-71 tie to send the game to overtime.

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In overtime, Kansas held all the momentum. Back-to-back threes by Devonte’ Graham increased the lead to 79-71 as Kansas surged to an improbable comeback. After a little bit of resilience from West Virginia, Kansas ended the night with a 84-80 overtime win and created more distance in the Big 12 race.

Up next for KU is a tough road test in Waco to face the 22-4 (9-4) Baylor Bears as they come off a fresh loss at Texas Tech on Monday. A win on Saturday would create a three game lead for KU Basketball in the Big 12.

All stats courtesy of ESPN.com.