The Kansas Jayhawks defeated rival Kansas State 83-67 Friday night in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. The Jayhawks led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but Bruce Weber’s team battled back and got as close as 53-51 in the second half.
Kansas was led by sophomore guard Malik Newman, who scored 22 points on 8-14 shooting. Newman has now scored 52 points in the Jayhawk’s first two postseason games. If Newman can continue to stay hot, Kansas will be a very tough out.
Kansas State was without star guard Barry Brown after he injured his eye following a collision with Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham in the first half. KState was also without star forward Dean Wade. Brown did not even score a point or attempt a shot, but Kansas State instead got their offense from sophomore forward Makol Mawien, who scored 29 points on 13-19 shooting. With the loss, Kansas State will still head to the NCAA Tournament but have now lost 10 consecutive games vs. the Jayhawks.
Kansas will be headed to the championship game tomorrow night (6 PM ESPN) against the winner of West Virginia/Texas Tech. The Jayhawks have looked surprisingly solid so far in Kansas City without star center Udoka Azubuike. Forwards Mitch Lightfoot and Silvio De Sousa have played well in Azubuike’s absence, and hope to lead the Jayhawks to victory tomorrow night.