Kansas State tries again to win at Kansas
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The decisive play from last season is certain to be remembered, particularly by the opponent that almost pulled off an upset of Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse.
With the game clock down to the final seconds, guard Svi Mykhailiuk took off for the rim.
Although Mykhailiuk, now a senior, obviously traveled, the call was not made, his game-winning layup at the buzzer counted and Kansas held off an upset bid by rival Kansas State 90-88.
The victory launched a critical eight-game win streak that helped the Jayhawks seize control of the Big 12 and capture a 13th consecutive conference championship.
On Saturday, Kansas State (12-4, 2-2 Big 12) returns to Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan., for a rematch against No. 12 Kansas (13-3, 3-1).
"I'm sure that will be something that will be talked about with K-State because, obviously, that game should have gone overtime, without question, because Svi did walk on that last play," Kansas coach Bill Self said.
"I know that coaches and players use every motivational tactic they can. That is certainly a natural one. I can understand why they were upset and disappointed last year leaving Lawrence."
What is an even greater concern to the Jayhawks, though, is their vulnerability at home.
They struggled to subdue the last-place team in the Big 12, Iowa State, in an 83-78 victory on Tuesday after losing two of their three previous home games against a pair of ranked opponents, Arizona State and Texas Tech.
Against Iowa State, sophomore guard Malik Newman posted 27 points off the bench for the Jayhawks, breaking his previous career high of 25 set as a freshman at Mississippi State.
Depth has remained an issue for the Jayhawks while they anticipate eligibility rulings from the NCAA on two freshman forwards -- Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa. Senior guard Devonte' Graham leads Kansas at 18.1 points per game. He scored only 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting against Iowa State, but distributed nine assists and added four steals.
"Coach Self has done a nice job (with) what he has, figuring some things out," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "They still have very good players. Graham, obviously. The big guy (Udoka Azubuike) inside. You've had some guys step up ... so they're still good and it's going to be a tough challenge."
The Wildcats also benefited from a career-high scoring performance in their last game, an 86-82 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday. Junior guard Barry Brown erupted for 38 points, the most by a Wildcat since the program's all-time leading scorer, Jacob Pullen, netted that same total in March 2011.
The performance from Brown came in the first game without another junior guard, Kamau Stokes, who suffered a foot injury Weber said will keep the Wildcats' assists leader out indefinitely. Stokes' replacement, freshman Cartier Diarra, added 17 points and logged 37 minutes in his first start.
"Our mindset was just for everyone to pick it up a bit, turn it up a notch, bring what we brought but just a little bit more," Brown said.
Kansas State last won in Allen Fieldhouse in 2006, Jim Wooldridge's last season as coach. Since then, the Wildcats have been directed by Bob Huggins, Frank Martin and Weber, but have dropped 11 straight at Kansas.
Updated January 12, 2018