Sunflower Showdown Trifecta?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — News, notes and quotes while wrapping up KU's 79-66 victory over Texas A&M Friday night at Sprint Center, and looking forward to the Jayhawks' battle with K-State today for the Big 12 tournament title. Tipoff is 5 p.m. (CT)


KU junior forward Markieff Morris was whistled for a technical foul as part of a double technical with the Aggies' Bryan Davis with 6:41 left in the game. But Morris said he was just trying to aid senior teammate Sherron Collins.

"I stepped in, Sherron was arguing a little bit," Morris said. "The ref thought I was talking to him. What I was doing was actually pulling Sherron back. He gave us a double tech. We don't want to have the image of bad guys, but we won't back down. I just think we're going to keep playing hard."

The altercation seemed to fire up Collins. He scored six points in the next 2:21.


Aggies' head coach Mark Turgeon was proud of his team's effort, but disappointed they faded down the stretch.

"I thought we were great for 32 minutes," Turgeon said. "My guys gave it everything they had. They executed. They defended. Give KU credit. When it was time to make plays, they made plays. They made seven or eight straight shots. We missed seven or eight shots. Really good looks at the eight-minute mark. They made them at the other end, that was the game."

Turgeon said he "wouldn't trade my team for anything. They busted their tails today. We just came up short. ... We're not going to see a better team than Kansas out there."


Saturday's tournament title game will be the third meeting between KU and K-State this season. The Jayhawks beat KSU in overtime in Manhattan, 81-79, on Jan. 30, and then knocked off the Wildcats at home on Senior Night, 82-65, clinching the Big 12 title outright.

KSU will again rely heavily on standout guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. Pullen scored 26 points and Clemente 24 in the Wildcats'  82-75 semifinal victory over Baylor on Friday night.

"They're as good offensively as any guards in the league, period," KU coach Bill Self said.

Frank Martin's Wildcats are hoping the third time's the charm against KU.

"We wanted to win the regular season Big 12, and we felt like we lost it at Kansas," Pullen said. "We just want a chance to get a ring. Denis never got a ring, I never got a ring, I don't think Frank's got one. I want to get one while we're here. That's our goal right now. We have the opportunity in front of us."

And it's a big one.

"It's what you practice for," Martin said. "You practice to play in that game when it comes to your conference championship. It's what it's all about.

"I'm proud of our kids," Martin added of his No. 9-ranked team. "I'm happy for K-State, all the great coaches and players that have reached out to us, that have embraced our team, that are starting to take pride in K-State basketball again. ... I'm just real happy for the kids. They've earned the right to play for the championship. Now, we've got to deal with the best team in the country who've we've been nose to nose twice before.

"KU is great. I've got to think it's going to be the best environment of any conference championship game in the country. I just hope we play well, because if not, it might be a long day against those guys." Top Stories