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KU, K-State, Texas Tech and WVU Advance to Semis
March 08, 2018

Bracket - Championship Central

For the fifth time, all top-four seeds advanced to the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship. No. 4 K-State picked up a 66-64 overtime win over No. 5 TCU. The Wildcats will face No. 1 Kansas, who picked up an 82-68 win over No. 8 Oklahoma State. No. 2 Texas Tech collected a 73-69 win over No. 7 Texas to advance to the semifinal round, while No. 3 West Virginia won 73-69 over No. 6 Baylor to punch its ticket to the semis. 

The Kansas-Kansas State matchup is slated for a 6 p.m. tip on ESPN, while the Texas-West Virginia contest is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN2.

No. 4 Kansas State 66, No. 5 TCU 64 (OT)

Postgame Highlights
Postgame Interview - Cartier Diarra
Postgame Interview - Dean Wade
Box Score
Kansas State Postgame Press Conference
TCU Postgame Press Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas State's Barry Brown scored the go-ahead layup with 11.2 seconds left in overtime, and Alex Robinson missed a pair of foul shots at the other end for TCU, allowing the Wildcats to escape with a 66-64 victory in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Horned Frogs, who forced OT on Desmond Bane's buzzer-beating 3-pointer, had the ball with the game tied at 64 and 34.5 seconds to go. But when Robinson's pass was deflected out of bounds, a video review showed TCU's Vladimir Brodziansky touched it last and Kansas State was given the ball.

Brown was fouled while converting a driving layup, but he missed the free throw.

At the other end, Robinson drove down the right side of the lane and was fouled by Makol Mawien with 1.3 seconds left. But the 60-percent foul shooter missed the first of two free throws, forcing him to miss the second, and the Wildcats corralled the rebound to seal the win.

Mawien finished with 16 points, and Xavier Sneed and Dean Wade scored 12 apiece for the fourth-seeded Wildcats (22-10), who advanced to play Kansas or Oklahoma State in Friday night's semifinals.

Kenrich Williams led the Horned Frogs (21-11) with 20 points. Robinson contributed 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting, and he finished with seven turnovers - none more costly than the last.

The teams couldn't have played a more even first half, swapping the lead seven times with seven ties and ending 30-all at the break. Both were 2 of 8 from beyond the arc, the Wildcats shot 48 percent from the field and the Horned Frogs shot 52, and neither team made a free throw.

Hardly a surprise, given the teams split in the regular-season with each winning at home.

TCU finally put together the first big run in the opening minutes of the second half. Robinson started it with a free throw and ended it with a jumper, and Williams added five points during the 11-0 spurt, which gave the Horned Frogs a 43-34 lead with 14 1/2 minutes to go. Cartier Diarra scored at the other end for Kansas State, knotting the game 53-all.

Kansas State kept the momentum going, edging ahead 59-56 when the Horned Frogs' J.D. Miller was called for basket interference with 52.3 seconds left. But after Williams missed at the other end for TCU, coach Jamie Dixon elected to play defense rather than foul the Wildcats.

Brown's long 3-pointer missed with eight seconds left, and that gave Bane enough time - by a fraction of a second - to hit his only basket of the game and force overtime.

Game 4: No. 1 Kansas 82, No. 8 Oklahoma State 68

Postgame Highlights
Postgame Interview - Mitch Lightfoot
Postgame Interview - Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
Postgame Interview - Marcus Garrett
Box Score
Kansas Postgame Press Conference
Oklahoma State Postgame Press Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas had just been beaten by Oklahoma State for the second time this season, a loss in Stillwater that sent the Jayhawks into the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Thursday.

Then the Cowboys raced out to a 10-point lead in their quarterfinal matchup.

Malik Newman scored a career-high 30 points, their backup big men made up for the absence of injured center Udoka Azubuike, and coach Bill Self's squad pulled away in the second half for an 82-68 victory over the Cowboys on Thursday.

"This team is easy to nitpick with because when we're good, it's magnified in ways because we can shoot and move the ball, and when we're bad it's magnified because we don't do the things in grind-it-out games that a lot of teams do," Self said. "Sometimes I think we get a little spoiled on what our expectations are, but I'm real proud of them. I think they competed hard for the most part."

Svi Mykhailiuk added 13 points and Devonte Graham had 10 points, four rebounds and nine assists for the No. 1 seed Jayhawks (25-7), who were swept by the Cowboys (19-14) in the regular season. But they rose to the occasion when it mattered, setting up a date with Kansas State on Friday.

The Wildcats beat TCU in an overtime thriller earlier Thursday.

"We just wanted to come out, be aggressive and play tough," Newman said, "because we haven't played tough against those guys. We wanted to execute, have fun and be tough."

Jeffrey Carroll scored 17 points and Kendall Smith had 14 for the No. 8 seed Cowboys, who can only hope their opening-round win over Oklahoma solidified their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

"We're a tournament team. We've proven that all season long," Smith said. "Especially to see the kind of basketball we're playing right now, I definitely think we should get in."

Azubuike sprained the MCL in his left knee in practice Tuesday, causing him to miss the entire weekend. The Jayhawks hope to have him back for the NCAA Tournament next week.

Mitch Lightfoot and Silvio De Sousa combined for 14 points and 14 rebounds in his place.

"We showed we can play without Doke," Mykhailiuk said. "We can still win."

Oklahoma State threatened to run the Jayhawks out of the building early on, just as it did in an 82-64 rout in Stillwater on Saturday. Yakuba Sima took advantage of the inside space where Azubuike usually roams, and Carroll's 3-point barrage gave Oklahoma State an early 10-point lead.

That's when the Jayhawks finally caught fire, going on an 18-4 charge to turn things around. It was Newman leading the way with a trio of 3-pointers, part of his 20 first-half points.

He kept the hot hand going early in the second half, scoring seven points during another big run - this one 14-0 - that made it 66-50 and forced Cowboys coach Mike Boynton to call timeout.

Boynton said after his team's rough-and-tumble win over the Sooners that he didn't buy into the notion that beating a team three times was any more difficult than beating it once. But Boynton didn't address the challenge that comes with winning two games in fewer than 24 hours.

With 15 minutes left against Kansas, the Cowboys' legs looked shot.

At one point midway through the half, the Cowboys were 4 for 17 from the floor and had made more turnovers (five) than field goals.

Oklahoma State made a couple of late runs, but the Jayhawks were never in danger of letting their lead slip, locking up at least 25 wins for an NCAA-record 13th consecutive season.

"I won't say fatigue wasn't a factor," Boynton said, "but we knew that coming in. We put ourselves in that scenario and Kansas earned the right to have the extra day of rest."

Game 5: No. 2 Texas Tech 73, No. 7 Texas 69

Postgame Highlights
Postgame Interview - Zhaire Smith
Postgame Interview - Niem Stevenson
Box Score
Texas Tech Postgame Press Conference
Texas Postgame Press Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Keenan Evans scored 25 points, including a pretty fadeaway jumper in the closing minutes, and No. 14 Texas Tech held off hot-shooting Jacob Young and Texas for a 73-69 victory in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Thursday night.

Jarrett Culver added 13 points for the deep and talented Red Raiders (24-8), who had lost four of their last five in the regular season but appeared to recapture their mojo in Kansas City.

They advanced to play No. 18 West Virginia or Baylor in Friday night's semifinals.

Young had a career-high 29 points for the Longhorns (19-14), going 11 of 17 from the field and 6 of 7 from beyond the arc. But he missed a wide open layup with 36 seconds left that would have gotten the Longhorns within 70-67, and Evans made a free throw at the other end to help seal it.

Matt Coleman added 20 points for No. 7 seed Texas, which got star freshman Mo Bamba back from a toe sprain that had caused him to miss three games. The big man  wound up with 10 points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.

It was the No. 2 seed Red Raiders' first quarterfinal win since 2005, when they advanced all the way to the Big 12 title game. They have never won the league's postseason tournament.

The Longhorns, who survived a tough game against Iowa State in the opening round, misfired on their first nine shots, went nearly 6 minutes without a point and allowed the Red Raiders to roar to an early double-digit lead that they maintained much of the first half.

Their lead was still 32-19 with 2 minutes left when Young buried a 3-pointer. Bamba followed with a nice putback, Coleman added a couple of foul shots, and Bamba hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the wing to draw the Longhorns within 35-28 at the break.

Texas Tech extended its lead to 12 early in the second half before Young heated up.

The sophomore guard, who averaged 5.2 points coming in, buried a pair of 3-pointers a minute apart to start his onslaught. He added two more 3s in succession a few minutes later, getting fouled on the second and making the free throw to pull the Longhorns within 53-39 with 10:58 to go.

By that point Young had shattered his career high of 14 points, set coincidentally against the Red Raiders last year and matched against Kansas just last month.

Texas was still within 70-65 after Dylan Osetkowski's basket with just under a minute to play, and got the ball back after a turnover. But the missed layup by Young loomed large, allowing the Red Raiders to put the game away from the foul line.

Game 6: No. 3 West Virginia 78, No. 6 Baylor 65

Postgame Highlights
Box Score 
WVU Postgame Press Conference
Baylor Postgame Press Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Baylor thought it had stolen some much-needed momentum entering halftime against West Virginia when Tristan Clark threw down a dunk with a couple of seconds left on the clock at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Thursday.

Jevon Carter stole it all right back.

The senior guard chucked in a halfcourt buzzer-beater to give the No. 18 Mountaineers a comfy cushion, and the Big 12 Tournament's third-seeded team kept pulling away after the break. Carter wound up with 18 points and 11 assists, Esa Ahmad poured in 21 points and West Virginia rolled to a 78-65 victory and a spot in the semifinal round Thursday night.

"They had that put-back dunk that changed the game," Carter said, "but I guess that 3-pointer just killed them right there. That's a big momentum-changer, and it was big for us going into halftime.

"We came out and played with the same energy as the first half."

Daxter Miles Jr. also had 19 points for the Mountaineers (23-9), who swept the Bears (18-14) during the regular season and have won six of the last seven in the series overall.

"When you get down double digits against West Virginia it's hard to come back," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "There's certain teams we match up better with and West Virginia isn't one of them, we are glad if we never have to play them again this year."

The Mountaineers will play No. 14 Texas Tech, the tournament's second seed, on Friday night for a spot in the championship game. They've been to the last two Big 12 finals, but still have not won a conference tournament since capturing the Big East crown in 2010.

Manu Lecomte led the No. 6 seed Bears with 27 points, but he didn't get much help from his lineup dealing with West Virginia's stingy defense. Baylor shot 42 percent from the field but just 6 of 20 from beyond the arc, and committed a ghastly 22 turnovers.

Nuni Omot and King McClure combined for 12 of them.

"We just tried to keep going and stay positive," said the Bears' Terry Maston. "They got some great momentum and fast-break dunks. They just played great overall."

The Bears actually controlled the tempo much of the first half, relying on their zone defense to keep West Virginia from running. They led 18-9 with 8 1/2 minutes left, and still led when Jake Lindsey made a pair of free throws as the 5-minute mark slipped by.

Press Virginia was starting to get cranked up, though.

The Mountaineers began forcing turnovers with their frenetic full-court press, and that keyed a 16-2 run that gave them the lead. And when Clark scored just before the break for Baylor, Carter answered with his half-court heave that hit nothing but net for a 29-23 advantage.

Baylor scored the first couple baskets of the second half, but Ahmad scored inside and Miles hit three 3-pointers in the span of a minute, as the Mountaineers carried their momentum toward the finish.

"It's a cumulative effect," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said of his press, "and we had one stretch where I think we got the ball three times in a row, and that's where we were able to open the game up a little bit, and that's what we hope it does for us."

The poised and veteran Mountaineers, who have earned a reputation for an uncanny ability to make the ugliest of games turn out the sweetest of ways capitalized on many Baylor turnovers.

"Our turnovers allowed them to not face our defense," Drew said. "When they scored, they set up and that wasn't good for us."

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