No. 1 Kansas outlasts No. 2 Oklahoma in 3 OTs
Lawrence, Kan. — Standing on the court after an interview, his legs still wobbly after the most physically taxing game of his career, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield received a standing ovation from Kansas fans.
He would have rather had a win.
The senior guard scored a career-high 46 points, but it was Hield's two crucial turnovers in the third overtime Monday night that helped top-ranked Kansas escape with a 109-106 victory over the second-ranked Sooners in an early showdown of national championship contenders.
"I wish I had one more overtime," Hield said. "I just hate losing."
Jordan Woodard hit six 3-pointers and had 27 points for the Sooners (12-1, 1-1 Big 12), who were trying to extend their best start in 28 years. Ryan Spangler finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds in the first triple-overtime game in the history of storied Allen Fieldhouse.
"Given what's at stake and the stage and all, I don't know that I've been in one better," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. "It was just terrific. It was a grind both ways."
Perry Ellis had 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Jayhawks (13-1, 2-0). Wayne Selden Jr. added 21 points, and Devonte Graham had 20 — including the go-ahead free throw in the final extra session.
It was a fitting conclusion for the first 1 vs. 2 matchup in two years, and the first pitting teams from the same conference since Ohio State and Michigan State of the Big Ten met on Feb. 25, 2007.
Woodard's final 3-pointer gave the Sooners a 106-104 lead, and they still led 106-105 when Hield was stripped by Frank Mason with 17 seconds left. Graham took a pass in transition and was fouled at the other end, converting both free throws to give Kansas the lead.
After the Sooners called a timeout, Hield threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds pass, and Mason added two more free throws with 8.6 seconds left for the final margin.
"I just have to do a better job," said Hield, who hit eight 3-pointers and finished 13 of 23 from the field. His 46 points matched Wayman Tisdale for the sixth-highest scoring game in school history.
The Jayhawks looked like they would end it in regulation after Hield made two free throws with 21.3 seconds left to tie the game 77-all. But after Mason charged the lane with 6 seconds left and missed the shot, Kansas forward Landen Lucas was called for a foul on the rebound.
Khadeem Lattin went to the line at the other end with 2 seconds left, but the 52-percent free throw shooter clanked the front end of a 1-and-1 off the iron to force overtime.
The teams traded baskets in the extra session, and Ellis hit a 3-pointer from the wing to tie the game 86-all with 1:15 left. Both teams squandered chances to take the lead, and Selden's open 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer came up short to force a second overtime.
Kansas also had the final shot in the second overtime after Isaiah Cousins missed at the rim and Spangler couldn't get his tip to go. Mason again drove the left side, but this time he tried a short jumper that was never close, and the game was headed to a third OT.
"Craziest game I've ever been a part of," Mason said. "We played a great team."
The Sooners slowly stretched their 44-40 halftime lead to 10 early in the second half, only for the Jayhawks to storm back before a frenzied, sold-out crowd packed inside the old fieldhouse.
It turned out both teams were only getting started.
"If we'd have lost the game, I would have walked into the locker room and said, 'You'll never forget that one,'" Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We beat a team that could win a national championship."