Kansas Beats Texas to Win Big 12 Championship
March 12, 2006
DALLAS, Texas –
Behind an all-tournament caliber performance from freshman Mario Chalmers, the <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>University of Kansas men’s basketball defeated Texas, 80-68, in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship game on Sunday afternoon. The win improves KU to 25-7 on the season and gives the team its first conference championship since 1999. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Kansas got off to a hot start behind two quick 3-point buckets from freshman Brandon Rush. His acumen from behind the arc set a tone for the rest of the game, as the Jayhawks went on to hit 12-of-24 from downtown. The 12 made 3-point field goals were a season best for KU and set a new Big 12 Championship record.
The game was kept close in the first half with neither team able to gain a considerable point advantage. The teams went into the break with Texas holding a 38-37 lead. With the game tied at 63 at the 6:24 mark in the second half, Kansas went on a 17-5 run to close out the game and seal the victory.
Chalmers, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, led the Jayhawks with 15 points and six assists on the afternoon. His four 3-point field goals tied a career high.
Along with Chalmers, freshman Julian Wright was also named to the all-tournament team. Wright, a Chicago Heights, Ill., native, made several big plays down the stretch to aid the Jayhawks in their victory. He filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and three steals. Although the team was out-rebounded 40-35, KU converted 16 Longhorn turnovers into 32 points as compared to only seven points off nine turnovers for UT.
Kansas will now wait to hear from the NCAA selection committee to see where the team will be seeded for the 2006 NCAA Championship.