🏀 Kansas Tops Texas Tech to Claim Big 12 Tournament Title
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Five players scored in double figures as top-seeded Kansas captured the 2022 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, defeating No. 3-seed Texas Tech 74-65 on Saturday evening at the T-Mobile Center.
The win marks the 12th Big 12 Tournament Championship for the Jayhawks and the first since 2018. Kansas improves to 12-3 all-time in title games while also improving to 28-6 on the year. With the win, Kansas earns the Big 12’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, with the bracket to be announced on Sunday, March 13.
David McCormack led the Jayhawks with his 10th double-double of the season, scoring 18 points while pulling down 11 rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji had 16 points and seven rebounds while Christian Braun added 14. Jalen Wilson and Remy Martin added 12 points apiece. The game marked the fourth time this season that Kansas has had five players score in double figures.
For their efforts, Agbaji and Braun were selected to the All-Tournament Team, with Agbaji named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Play was back-and-forth in the first half, which featured five ties and 12 lead changes, and neither team led by more than four points. Kansas shot just 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field in the first 20 minutes, but held a 37-36 lead at halftime, in large part due to hitting 11-of-15 free throws. Kansas got 10 points apiece from Martin and Braun in the half, while McCormack had nine points and five rebounds. Martin scored the final 10 points of the half for Kansas.
The second half followed a similar script early on, with neither team gaining an advantage of more than five points in the first 10 minutes. Texas Tech took the lead for the first time in the second half at the 11:49 mark and pushed the lead to three at 54-51, capping off a 7-0 run. Kansas had an answer, using a 12-2 run that spanned nearly five minutes and featured seven points from Wilson to take a 63-56 lead with 5:56 to play.
Texas Tech cut the deficit to four, 64-60, with 3:08 to play, but Kansas closed out strong, going on a 10-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 74-62 with less than a minute to play before Tech scored the final three points.
Kansas hit five fewer field goals than Texas Tech in the game, but made up for it at the free throw line, hitting 25-of-32 (78.1 percent) attempts compared to just six made free throws for the Red Raiders. The rebounding battle was even at 34-all, while Tech had advantages over KU in second-chance points (13-5) and points in the paint (36-30).
Kansas receives the Big 12’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will be making its 50th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance in 2022. Since 1990, Kansas has made 31-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances which is the longest active streak in the nation and best all-time. The Jayhawks will learn its postseason destination and opponent on Sunday, March 13.