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Kansas vs. Texas score, takeaways: No. 9 Jayhawks outlast No. 5 Longhorns, inch closer to top of Big 12 race

No. 9 Kansas worked its way back into the win column on Monday night in a big way with an 88-80 home win over No. 5 Texas. In a key top-10 matchup, Jayhawks cut into the Longhorns’ lead in the Big 12 regular-season race and sit one game off the pace with a little over a month until Selection Sunday. 

Kansas had lost four of its last five games in conference play following a 15-point blowout loss to Iowa State on Saturday, but led wire-to-wire in its win over Texas in a spirited effort it controlled throughout. The Jayhawks won decisively despite an uncharacteristically off night from Player of the Year contender Jalen Wilson, who battled through foul trouble and finished with a season-low two points.

KU got major production elsewhere with a huge night from its backcourt, led by star freshman Gradey Dick and point guard Dajuan Harris, who had 21 and 17 points, respectively. Joseph Yesufu came off the bench to add a season-high 14 points, and Kevin McCullar and KJ Adams both finished in double figures.

Texas has been one of the best Big 12 teams on the road this season with wins over Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all away from Austin, but it could not quite close the deal against a desperate Kansas team despite repeated second-half pushes. That wasn’t for lack of effort, though. Marcus Carr’s 22-point second half (and 29 total points) on multiple occasions pushed KU’s lead to uncomfortable margins.

Kansas improves to 18-2 all-time vs. Texas in games played in Allen Fieldhouse. The reigning national champions are now 19-5 overall (7-4 Big 12). 

1. Texas remains on the top line 

Kansas moved up to a No. 1 seed in Jerry Palm’s updated bracket last week after taking down Kansas State and maintained its status as a No. 1 seed even after losing this weekend at Iowa State. Texas is receiving grace from Mr. Palm, too, and remain a No. 1 seed in his bracket despite the loss to the Jayhawks. The Longhorns have the second-most Quadrant 1 wins behind Purdue and Kansas, and a bullet-proof résumé should have them headed for their highest NCAA Tournament seed since earning a No. 2 seed in 2008. 

2. Desperate Kansas gets needed win

Kansas would have been inching towards a dark place had it lost to Texas at home after getting blown out by Iowa State over the weekend. Losing four of the last five Big 12 games was a rarity for coach Bill Self, and with March right around the corner, it would have been fair to wonder about the direction the Jayhawks were headed. Now back in the win column, however, KU gets not only a much-needed win, but a momentum-builder that can help propel it to the finish line as it defends its title and looks to come from behind to win the Big 12.

3. Jayhawks flex their depth

On a night when Jalen Wilson scored just two points — his lowest of the season and tied for the lowest scoring output in a game since Jan. 4 of last year — Kansas cruised to a relatively sweat-free win thanks to its depth. Five different players scored in double figures with Dajuan Harris stepping up as both a scorer and facilitator. Gradey Dick and Joseph Yesufu also turned in 10-point second halves each to will the Jayhawks to a win.



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