LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Wayne Selden Jr. scored a career-high 33 points, seven in overtime, and fourth-ranked Kansas beat No. 20 Kentucky 90-84 on Saturday night in the premier showdown of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Frank Mason III added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks (17-4), who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Wildcats (16-5) by winning their 35th straight game at Allen Fieldhouse.
It wasn't easy.
In fact, the turnover gave Mason a chance for a half-court heave that he nearly made.
But when the game went to overtime, Selden simply took over.
He opened the extra session with a couple of free throws, and then on the next trip down drove to the rim and dunked over Ulis and 6-foot-11 freshman Skal Labissiere. Selden added two more free throws later in overtime to help the Jayhawks end the Wildcats' three game winning streak.
Ulis finished with 26 points and eight assists for Kentucky. Jamal Murray added 15 points, Alex Poythress had 13 and Isaiah Briscoe scored 12.
The prizefight-nature of the game was evident from the opening minutes, when Briscoe was hit with a technical foul for winging an elbow during a scrum beneath the basket.
That jumpstarted a back-and-forth affair between college basketball's winningest programs.
The Jayhawks made the first big charge behind Selden, who had 13 first-half points while helping his team to an early six-point cushion. But Ulis and Poythress were quick to answer, going a combined 10 of 12 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes to help Kentucky to a 46-40 lead at the break.
The Jayhawks were fortunate to be that close.
Ellis, their leading scorer, spent all but 6 minutes on the bench with two fouls, while the Wildcats spent the final 14:09 of the first half in the bonus.
Kentucky pushed its lead to 57-49 early in the second, but that's when Kansas coach Bill Self mothballed his beloved man-to-man defense for a triangle-and-two. The Wildcats appeared to be confused by the sudden switch to a zone, and struggled to get good looks before the shot clock wound down.
Selden's 3-pointer from the corner gave Kansas a 75-74 lead with 49.2 seconds left, but Murray hit a pull-up jumper a few seconds later to give the Wildcats the lead back.
Ellis was fouled at the other end and, after struggling at the line all night, made the second of two free throws to tie the game. And when Ulis turned the ball over with 2.2 seconds left, the Jayhawks nearly had an improbable victory in regulation when Mason's half-court heave bounced off the rim.
Turned out the miss merely delayed the celebration for 5 more minutes.