Kansas Wins Third Straight Big 12 Title

By: AP
By: AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas and Texas have played some memorable games in recent years. This may have been the best of the bunch. Mario Chalmers had a career-high 30 points and eight of Kansas' tournament-record 15 3-pointers, helping the fifth-ranked Jayhawks beat No. 6 Texas 84-74 on Sunday for their third straight Big 12 title over the Longhorns.

Brandon Rush hit six 3-pointers for Kansas (31-3), which was 15-for-25 from behind the arc, breaking the tournament record of 14 set by Colorado in 1995 and matched by Missouri in 2001.

Darrell Arthur had 16 points — three more than his two previous games combined — and the Jayhawks had 25 assists on 26 field goals to win their sixth Big 12 title in 12 years.

Kansas has won three straight conference titles for the second time in school history and could get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Texas (28-6) made 12 3-pointers and had four players score in double figures, but it still wasn't enough to give the Longhorns their first Big 12 title in five title-game appearances.

D.J. Augustin of Texas had 20 points and hit four 3-pointers, though he scored just two points and missed all nine of his shots in the second half. A.J. Abrams scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Justin Mason added 17 points for Texas.

Texas-Kansas is quickly becoming one of the best matchups in college basketball, despite 700 miles and a state separating the campuses.

They have combined to win or share six of the past seven regular-season conference titles and the past three tournaments. Kansas is headed to the NCAA tournament for the 19th straight year and Texas is making its 10th consecutive trip. Both teams reached the 2003 Final Four and Kansas went the year before.

They have also played some memorable games over the past few years, perhaps none better than last year's Big 12 tournament title game, when Kansas rallied from a 22-point deficit to beat the Longhorns 88-84 in overtime.

Their only meeting this season, Feb. 11 in Austin, was another thriller, with Texas pulling out a 72-69 win over the third-ranked Jayhawks.

This one was no different, both teams racing up and down the court, trading 3-pointers and dunks.

Kansas made sure the rowdy fans didn't stay in their seats long, hitting eight of its first 10 shots, including all four 3-point attempts. Chalmers led the way, going 5-of-6 from 3-point range and finishing the first half with 17 points. Rush hit four 3-pointers for 12 points.

Texas got an early lift from Mason, a 7.0 scorer this season who hit two 3-pointers and had 10 points in the first 9 minutes.

Augustin then took over, scoring 10 points in 5 minutes, including two on an incredible fadeaway over the corner of the basket. He added a 3-pointer from the wing, finishing the first half with 18 points and making all four of his 3-point attempts.

By the time the teams were done trading blows, Kansas had made nine 3-pointers and was 17-of-29 overall, while Texas had hit eight 3-pointers and was 18-of-31, good enough for a 46-45 lead.


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