Iowa State and Kansas each won their semifinal matchups and will play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship Final on Saturday evening.
No. 5-seed Iowa State edged No. 1-seed K-State, 63-59, in the first semifinal. The No. 3-seed Jayhawks picked up an 88-74 win over No. 10-seed West Virginia to advance to the final.
KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) — Marial Shayok hit back-to-back 3-pointers right in front of his own bench to give Iowa State the lead in the final minute, and the fifth-seeded Cyclones held on at the foul line to beat No. 15 Kansas State 63-59 on Friday night in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship semifinals.
The Cyclones (22-11) trailed 55-52 when Shayok’s first 3-point bounced off the rim, then off the glass and dropped through. Then, after the Wildcats’ Cartier Diarra missed a 3-pointer at the other end, the Cyclones’ senior guard dropped a 3-pointer that gave his team the lead.
Barry Brown’s driving layup got Kansas State (25-8) to 59-57 with 20.3 seconds left, but Nick Weiler-Babb answered with a pair of free throws. Shayok answered by Kansas State’s Xavier Sneed with two of his own, and the Cyclones began to celebrate another trip to the finals.
Shayok finished with 21 points, and Weiler-Babb had 12, as Iowa State advanced to play Kansas or West Virginia on Saturday night. The Cyclones are 4-0 when playing for the title.
Cartier had 15 points to lead five players in double figures for the Wildcats, who shared the regular-season title with Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
The Wildcats once again played without All-Big 12 forward Dean Wade, who sat on the bench with a walking boot on his right foot.
Kansas State got off to a hot start, unlike its quarterfinal win over TCU, but the Cyclones and their massive contingent of fans slowly turned the tide late in the first half.
It began when Sneed missed a layup for the Wildcats and Tyrese Haliburton scored a third-chance basket at the other end for Iowa State. Kansas State went on to miss 12 straight field-goal attempts while the high-flying Cyclones went on a 21-4 charge to end the half.
Momentum promptly switched in the locker room.
The Wildcats, who had the Big 12’s best defense this season, buckled down to start the second half, and they put together an 11-0 run that made it 38-all with 15 minutes to go.
They kept the run going, too, when Diarra was whacked on the way to the basket and needed to get treatment on the sideline after his free throws. Sneed finally knocked down a 3-pointer, Mawien added a bucket in the paint, and Brown’s fast-break layup forced Iowa State to call timeout.
The Cyclones eventually got back on track, wiping out a five-point deficit in the final couple minutes with a couple of big 3-pointers from Shayok and some clutch foul shots down the stretch.
KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) — Dedric Lawson poured in 24 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 and No. 17 Kansas roared away from West Virginia for an 88-74 victory Friday night in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship semifinals.
Devon Dotson added 13 points and Marcus Garrett had 11 for the third-seeded and reigning champion Jayhawks (25-8). They advanced to play No. 5 seed Iowa State for the title Saturday night.
Kansas has advanced to the championship game three of the past four years.
The 10th-seeded Mountaineers (14-20) led much of the first half and hung tough early in the second, but three games in three days finally caught up to them. Tough wins over Oklahoma and No. 8 Texas Tech left them with tired legs — probably minds, too — and the Jayhawks eventually went on a 13-2 run midway through the second half to seize control.
The lead reached 20 with 7 and a half minutes to go, and the Jayhawks cruised the rest of the way.
Lamont West led West Virginia with 16 points, while Derek Culver had 14.
Kansas has won the tournament 11 times, and Iowa State is unbeaten in four championship trips, but the two teams have met in the finals just once: The Cyclones won 70-66 in 2015.
Grimes has struggled with his shot most of the season, to say nothing of living up to his five-star status out of high school. But the freshman guard found his stroke from the opening
West Virginia pulled ahead midway through the half, but Grimes added three more 3-pointers to regain the lead, then hit a buzzer-beater from 30 feet to give the Jayhawks a 48-40 advantage.
Lawson fueled their clinching run, getting it started with an easy basket and added another bucket and a 3-pointer during the 13-2 charge. By the time Garrett finished it off, a crowd heavily in favor of Kansas was buzzing about the opportunity to face the Cyclones.