KU vs WVU
Are you fucking kidding me? Down 14 with 2:43 left and they came back. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. How the hell did they pull that off? I have never seen Kansas play the way they did in the last 2:43 of regulation in this game. This game was just ridiculous from the very start. KU was down early and they went on a 16–0 run to go up by 6. When we went up six, I thought we had the game in the bag. I thought we had the energy we needed to pull away and not look back. But then West Virginia made some shots and we couldn’t buy a bucket. West Virginia went on a 19–6 run to go up before the half. When the second half started Press Virginia came out to play. KU kept it close (lol kept it close, when I say that I mean they kept it within 10) for the first ten minutes of the second half, but then West Virginia started to pull away and they went up a lot. Honestly when they went up 14, I thought we were shit out of luck and it was over and we were going to lose two straight games in Allen.
When I watch basketball with my dad and a team is losing by seven or eight points with less than a minute to go, I always tell him that all the team needs is nine seconds. This comes from a story about Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers. The Indiana Pacers were down six points with 18.7 seconds remaining in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks. Reggie Miller was able to score eight points in nine seconds to gain the lead for the Pacers. If a team is down I always tell my dad, “all they need is nine seconds and they’re good.” During this game, Reggie Miller’s story was never in my mind. I thought KU was done. I thought we were going to lose two straight games in Allen for the first time since 1988. Nothing was going to bring us back from 14 down with 2:43 left, West VIrginia’s press was gonna end us. Boy, was I wrong.
KU played like absolute garbage for most of the game, shooting only 34% from the field and 35% from behind the arc. They pulled out 75% on 33–44 from the free throw line, which is a big reason KU was able to pull off this win.
The Jayhawks were lead by National Player of the Year front runner, Frank Mason, who was still overcoming being sick. Mason scored 24 points off of only 3–13 of shooting, with 16 of his 24 points coming from the free throw line. Devonte Graham also had a stellar performance with 18 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 very Lebron-like block. Graham made some very clutch three pointers during the last 2:43 to help force overtime. Landen Lucas had 8 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Lucas was also able to force a five-second call during a West Virginia inbound during the comeback happening during the last 2:43 of regulation. Other notable performances from the Jayhawks include; Josh Jackson with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 steals, LaGerald Vick with 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists, and Mitch Lightfoot who played 8 minutes but had 2 huge blocks, one of which coming in the last seconds of overtime.
This game also saw 5 players foul out, three Jayhawks and two Mountaineers. LaGerald Vick (KU) fouled out with 14 points, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (KU) fouled out with 4 points, Carlton Bragg Jr. (KU) fouled out with 0 points, Tarik Phillip (WVU) fouled out with 18 points, and Esa Ahmad fouled out with 20 points.
The Jayhawks ability to comeback and force overtime in this game is being compared to the 2008 National Championship game against Memphis. When asked about that comparison, Bill Self said, “We were down nine with 2:00 left then, but in that situation it seemed like everything went right down the stretch. In this situation, we had a lot of things not go right and the guys hung around.”
If there was one photo I would use to represent all of West Virginia after this game, it would be this photo of Nathan Adrian. This photo was taken moments after Adrian accidentally lost the ball off his knee out of bounds on an UNCONTESTED rebound after a missed free throw from KU’s Landen Lucas with 13.8 seconds to play in overtime with KU leading 82–78.
KU’s ridiculous comeback sparked a lot of entertaining tweets to come across my timeline.
Josh Jackson named National Freshman of the Week
On Tuesday, KU announced that Josh Jackson was named Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for the second time in his career. Jackson has shown that he is deserving of this award through his performances in KU’s last two games, both victories, against Texas Tech and West Virginia. In these last two games, Jackson has averaged 22.5 points, 11 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 3 steals whilst shooting 57% from the field. Jackson recorded his 8th and 9th double-double in the games against Texas Tech and West Virginia, while setting a career-high 31 points at Texas Tech. Jackson has recorded a double-double in five of the last 6 games.