The Texas Longhorns got off to a great start, going up 17-5 in the early minutes of the game. But Kansas slowly worked its way back, taking the lead with 12:34 left in the second half, before pulling away. Perry Ellis led Kansas with 26 points. Wayne Selden chipped in 19, including four made baskets from beyond the arc.
The game started out about as well as possible for the Longhorns. Shaka Smart's guards came out aggressively, and Texas showed a new offensive wrinkle, using guard-guard ball screens (which Kansas switched) to match up Isaiah Taylor on Wayne Selden, Bill Self's weakest perimeter defender. Meanwhile, Kansas cooperated early by missing shots and turning the ball over. For a period of time, Phog Allen sounded a lot like the Erwin Center.
But Selden and Devonte' Graham slowly brought Kansas back in the first half, hitting big shots, and the Jayhawks stopped shooting themselves in the foot with terrible turnovers. As a result, Texas took a 35-30 lead into the locker room at the half.
In the second half, it looked for a time as if foul trouble was going to murder Texas. But Prince Ibeh played through it, staying on the floor for 35 minutes. For the most part Ibeh played outstanding defense. Connor Lammert's foul trouble combined with a first half injury to junior Shaquille Cleare meant that the Longhorns occasionally had to roll with some really small lineups in the second half. This included a stretch where Kendall Yancy was forced to guard Ellis, which went about as poorly as you would expect.
The Longhorns did themselves no favors, missing from close range and going cold from three. During the critical stretch when Kansas took control of the game Isaiah Taylor and Kerwin Roach both missed layups and Javan Felix had two clean catch and shoot looks from three point range that did not go down.
Meanwhile, Kansas played like Kansas. Perry Ellis worked against Prince Ibeh, finding angles to score. Selden and Graham hit big shots from the outside (Self's men were 10-25 from three point range on the day).
All in all, Texas played decent basketball against a strong opponent on the road, but didn't make enough shots to keep the game in reach.
- The point spread was 12. Texas played Kansas close enough late to keep Brent Musburger from spending a lot of time making gambling references. That is what we call a moral victory.
- Connor Lammert was the only Longhorn who shot the ball well. The Texas senior was 5-7 from three point range. The rest of the Longhorns were a combined 1-9 from beyond the arc.
- For a period of time, it looked as if this was going to become a "Prince Ibeh game." Several times a year we have a game where Ibeh takes over a game and shuts down an opponent. Ibeh blocked seven shots in the game, but Perry Ellis was able to score around the basket, and the Jayhawks did most of the rest of their damage from three point range.
- Someone should send five-star recruit Jarrett Allen a photo of Cheick Diallo making a sad face in his warm ups while sitting on the Jayhawk bench. Although it was good to get proof-of-life for the Kansas freshman big man, as his last known whereabouts were a special dog house Bill Self has constructed and hidden somewhere in the Flint Hills.