And so the Big 12 Tournament ends the same way it has many times before. Another humiliating loss to the Jayhawks sent the Cats home Thursday afternoon to await the news of a possible post-season berth.
The third edition of the Sunflower Showdown may have been the most dominant performance by Kansas against K-State away from Allen Fieldhouse in several years. The Jayhawks led basically from horn to horn, and clearly out-matched the young Wildcats all afternoon.
The only positives that can be gleaned from Thursday afternoon's game is that K-State has finally, after several decades, seen the last of Perry Ellis. Ellis led four Jayhawks in double figures with 21, and even without his points KU still would have won.
It was that kind of afternoon for the Wildcats. Well, almost all of the Wildcats. Justin Edwards may have saved his best for the Big 12 Tournament and finally strung together a couple of performances that have been expected since rumors from practice of his transfer year painted the picture of a guy who could score from anywhere and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Justin hit five 3's and notched a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. He was joined in double-digit land by two other vets, though Wesley Iwundu and D.J. Johnson only had 10 apiece. And while Dean Wade was largely ineffective, five points and four rebounds, after a monster game on Wednesday, he may have notched the lowest foul total of the season by only getting whistled one time in 31 minutes of game action.
We don't need to re-invent the wheel, and try to tell you in new words how, again, KU beat K-State, but this KU team looks as good as it has since 2010, when they put down a great K-State team in Kansas City.
KU dished out as many assists as K-State had made baskets.
KU got basically whatever the wanted on the way to shooting 57% from the floor for the game. And that number is brought down significantly because the Jayhawks only shot 35% from 3pt land.
K-State's free throw shooting fell off a cliff after halftime of Wednesday nights game, and that continued into Thursdays game that saw the Cats shoot barely above 50% from the charity stripe.
Player and Tigger Of The Game: Justin Edwards
Frankly, for large stretches of the game, Justin looked like the only player on K-State's roster that looked like he belonged on the same court as the Jayhawks. He led all scorers with 23 and accounted for 38% of K-State's scoring and 40% of the rebounding (as a 2-guard).
Welcome to back to 2004
Praying for an NIT bid, a largely optimistic outlook on next year's squad based on what's returning, and watching the women's team go the the Big Dance. Yep, sure feels like early-aught K-State basketball again. Now if only we had a neck-brace laying around...