Three Thoughts on Texas’ 76-56 Win Over Kansas in the Big 12 Basketball Finals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks met in the 2023 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship Game in a battle between the last two winners of the conference tournament. Texas took the title in 2021, while Kansas was trying to defend its title from last season.
Texas came into the game having beaten Oklahoma State and TCU, while Kansas handled West Virginia on Thursday in the quarterfinals and Iowa State in the semifinals on Friday. Despite the Jayhawks playing in front of essentially a home crowd at the T-Mobile Center, KU led early 13-10, but then a Texas 9-0 run put the Longhorns on top with a lead they would not relinquish.
Here are three thoughts on Texas 76-56 win over Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament Championship Game.
Just like the Longhorns did on Friday night, they beat the Jayhawks in a more dominant fashion with the same blueprint. Texas owned Kansas in the paint and in the turnover department. During the regular season, in conference play, Texas led the Big 12 with a +3.33 per game turnover margin, and on Saturday night, Texas won the turnover battle 15-10, good for a +5 margin. Once again, Texas struggled from three-point range, hitting just 4-17 from downtown, but that didn’t matter given their dominance in the paint. Texas had its way, with 38 points in the paint, compared to Kansas’ 28. Dylan Disu continued his hot streak, finishing with 18 points and six rebounds, and his strong performance earned him the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament.
Jalen and Who?
One night after Jalen Wilson scored a team-best 25 points to lead Kansas to a win over Iowa State, Wilson led the team once again with 24 points, but there was no help from the rest of the team. Only Joseph Yesufu finished in double figures with 11 points. Gradey Dick had a quiet night, scoring only six points on 3-11 shooting, while KJ Adams and DaJuan Harris also had six points on the night. For Kansas, they need to hope it was just an off night, because it was eerily similar to KU’s three-game losing streak in January when Jalen Wilson was the only consistent scorer.
NCAA Tournament Ramifications
Texas began the day as a No. 2 seed in the South Regional, according to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. There’s not much of a path for Texas to land a No. 2 seed, but the question is can they move up to a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional, which would make their potential Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games back here in Kansas City. Now, the other factor in that is whether or not Kansas remains the No. 1 overall seed in the Tournament, which would have them in the Midwest Regional. Typically, the Selection Committee would prefer to not to put two teams from the same conference as the top two seeds in the same regional, so we will see how Saturday night’s result factors into the equation.