LAWRENCE, Kan. — In an underdog role for the first time in nearly two years, Kentucky looked like the favorites for much of an 90-84 loss at Kansas, but blew a last-minute lead and crumbled in overtime.
The battle between college basketball’s two winningest programs featured 12 ties and 18 lead changes.
Kentucky led by two with 0:51 to go, and had a chance to win in regulation, but Tyler Ulis lost control of the ball with 2.2 seconds remaining. Kansas guard Frank Mason III narrowly missed the ensuing half-court shot, and the Big 12-SEC Challenge’s marquee matchup went to an extra period.
That’s where turnovers and missed free throws doomed the Wildcats, who also lost a trio of bigs — Derek Willis, Marcus Lee and Skal Labissiere — to fouls late in the game.
MVP: Ulis. The sophomore guard put forth another All-American performance on the road, leading the Wildcats with 26 points. He shot 11-for-19 from the floor while dishing out eight assists.
Starting lineup: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis, Alex Poythress
Off the bench: Marcus Lee, Charles Matthews, Dominique Hawkins, Skal Labissiere
Cleaning up the glass: Kentucky led, 46-40, at halftime after Jamaal Murray converted a transition layup at the buzzer … Briscoe picked up a technical (dead-ball contact) after a Kansas shooting foul sent him to the floor in the first half … Willis fouled out with 4:51 remaining … Lee fouled out with 1:24 remaining … Labissiere fouled out with 2:11 remaining in overtime … Kansas coach Bill Self ran his career home record to 191-9 at Allen Fieldhouse … Jayhawks guard Wayne Selden, Jr., passed the career 1,000-point mark with a 33-point performance.
What’s next: Tues., Feb. 2 at Tennessee (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)