It’s a sign that all is normal in the world when Kansas clinch another Big 12 regular season title, while Kentucky, overcoming Georgia on their final road game of the season, improved to 30-0 in a year that seems to be about them and them alone.
Why signaling them out? Because Kentucky have been number one on the AP Poll since day 1. There have been other undefeated teams along the way, but the Wildcats kept getting the votes, beating any obstacle they had during the non conference schedule and making mincemeat of anyone in their way in the SEC. Now only Florida, playing in Lexington, are left standing in the way of finishing this season undefeated.
It didn’t go smoothly, despite the 72-64 win. Georgia led by nine points in the second half and Kentucky only got back the lead in the final four minutes. Their size, some offensive rebounds and their ability to create points off turnovers eventually got them past a smart Georgia team that managed to embarrass the Wildcats on numerous occasions with their inside-outside passing game. Above all stood Karl-Anthony Towns with 19 points and 7 rebounds, making up for the bad game Willie Cauley-Stein was having.
Kansas had a difficult time as well in their 76-69 win over West Virginia, climbing back from 14 points down at half time to win the game. West Virginia were hoping to make it a sweep over Kansas following their one point win in Morgantown last month, but missed two shots in the final seconds of regulation after the Jayhawks tied the game from the line on a very bad call from the officials, as Tarik Phillip barely touched Devonte Graham.
In overtime, it was all about Kansas, managing to handle the exit of Perry Ellis earlier on due to a knee injury. Frank Mason III scored 19 points to lead them towards the title, helped by Jamari Tralyor with 14 points. Daxter Miles Jr. scoring 22 points wasn’t enough to deliver the road win for the Mountaineers. It wouldn’t have stopped Kansas from at least sharing the title, but now they get to win it outright (again), marking their 11th consecutive Big 12 title, all with Bill Self as their head coach.