Saturday's Top 25: Late run gives No. 1 Kansas win over No. 21 Iowa State

Tate Steinlage
Associated Press
Kansas forward Perry Ellis, left, is fouled by Iowa State forward Georges Niang (31) during the first half.

Lawrence, Kan. — Kansas coach Bill Self remembers a time early in Perry Ellis' career when the senior forward couldn't speak in front of a crowd.

It felt like a lifetime ago on Saturday afternoon.

Ellis, the often-reserved senior forward, charmed the crimson and blue faithful at Allen Fieldhouse with an emotional farewell speech that spanned laughs and tears.

"People say I've been here forever, and they're right. I got to play with Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning," Ellis joked. "Since I supposedly have unlimited eligibility, why don't I come back next year?"

Based on his performance Saturday, Kansas fans wouldn't have any objections.

Ellis scored 22 points, including a hook shot over Iowa State's Georges Niang to ice the game, and No. 1 Kansas stretched its nation-leading home winning streak to 42 games with a 85-78 victory over the No. 21 Cyclones.

"I'm proud of this team," Self said. "I've been proud of teams before, but when you have lottery picks or guys like that where you know you have better players who perform at a very high level, the chances are you'll be successful. This team I think we have terrific players, but I think this team has earned its stripes as much as any team we've had here."

Devonte Graham and Wayne Seldon Jr. finished with 16 points apiece. Kansas (27-4, 15-3) has now won 33 straight home finales.

Ellis, playing in his final game at Allen Fieldhouse, spearheaded an 11-0 run in the final 4:45 by diving across the floor to save a possession. He ended it with an emphatic dunk and 16,000 fans cheering his name one last time.

"You're just thinking about so much," Ellis said. "All last night you're just thinking one more. One more. This was the last go around. There was a lot of thinking, but it was great to come out with the win."

Kansas looked poise to break the game open with 13:21 left, when Mason slipped his way through two defenders and finished at the rim. But Iowa State wouldn't go away, responding with a 13-2 run to grab its largest - and last - lead at 63-59.

Niang led the Cyclones (21-10, 10-8) with 22 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jameel McKay added 19 points and nine rebounds.

"Anytime you get to finish your last Big 12 regular season, it's disappointing to end it on a loss," Niang said. "Winning in Allen Fieldhouse is something I wanted to do, so losing is real disappointing."

Kansas also honored fellow seniors Jamari Traylor, Hunter Mickelson and Evan Manning before tipoff.

But Saturday afternoon was all about No. 34.

Ellis was a crucial part of Kansas' four in-season tournament titles and its lone Big 12 Tournament crown. His still demeanor and consistency made him a fan-favorite. He lost just twice at Allen Fieldhouse.

All of his attributes were on display Saturday.

Ellis scored 12 first-half points and grabbed three rebounds against perhaps the only comparable player in the conference and country, Niang. Even as Ellis struggled through periods of missed shots, he was a force, grabbing rebounds or diving across the court to deny Iowa State a possession.

The teams traded buckets in quick succession throughout the opening period, with neither leading by more than seven points. Niang matched Ellis' scoring production but foul trouble limited him to just 11 minutes. McKay stepped up in his place with 17 first-half points and seven rebounds, all while not picking up a foul or sitting out.

He, like Iowa State, was good in the second half. Kansas was simply better in crunch time.

"The reality of it is," Self said, "I couldn't be more confident of these guys moving forward.

(At) No. 3 Villanova 84, Georgetown 71: Josh Hart scored 18 points, Kris Jenkins had 17 and Villanova (27-4, 16-2) closed out the regular season with a win over Georgetown. L.J. Peak led Georgetown (14-17, 7-11) with 31 points.

(At) No. 4 Virginia 68, No. 11 Louisville 46: Mike Tobey had 15 points and a career-high 20 rebounds and Virginia (24-6, 13-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) stifled Louisville for the second time this season. The game was the last of the season for Louisville (23-8, 12-6), which has self-imposed a postseason ban for this year for recruiting violations.

(At) No. 5 Xavier 98, Creighton 93: Trevon Bluiett hit a pair of 3s that got Xavier (26-4, 14-4) going in the second half, and the Musketeers matched their school record for regular-season victories by beating Creighton (18-13, 9-9)  Myles Davis had 24 points, including four free throws in the final minute. Bluiett finished with 17.James Milliken had 22 for Creighton, which fell to 4-29 all-time against Top 5 teams.

No. 6 Oklahoma 75, (at) TCU 67: Buddy Hield scored 21 points in his final regular-season game for Oklahoma, which clinched at least the No. 3 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament.Brandon Parrish scored 20 points for the TCU (11-20, 2-16), who have three 20-loss seasons and an 8-64 regular-season record in the Big 12 in four years under coach Trent Johnson.

(At) Virginia Tech 77,  No. 7 Miami 62: Justin Bibbs scored 19 points to lead Virginia Tech (18-13, 10-8 ACC)  to its fifth straight win and second over a top-10 foe this season, having beaten then-No. 4 Virginia on Jan. 4. Miami (24-6, 13-5) could have assured itself a share of the ACC’s regular-season crown with a win.

No. 8 North Carolina 76, (at) No. 17 Duke 72: Brice Johnson had 18 points and 21 rebounds, and North Carolina (25-6, 14-4) held on to beat Duke and lock up the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Grayson Allen scored 29 points while Luke Kennard added 20 for Duke (22-9, 11-7), which hit 13 3-pointers — including one by Kennard with 9.3 seconds left that made it 72-70.

No. 9 Oregon 76, (at) USC 66: Tyler Dorsey scored 19 points, Elgin Cook added 17 and Oregon (25-6, 14-4) clinched the Pac-12 title outright, the Ducks’ first since 2002, and fifth in school history. Oregon overcame a 20-minute power outage in the first half at Galen Center. USC (20-11, 9-9) lost to Oregon for the 12th straight time.

No. 10 West Virginia 69, (at) No. 19 Baylor 58: Jaysean Paige had 14 points and West Virginia (24-7, 13-5 Big 12) wrapped up second place in the Big 12 Conference.Taurean Prince had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Baylor (21-10, 10-8).

(At) No. 13 Utah 57, Colorado 55: Jakob Poetl had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Utah rallied for a victory over Colorado in the regular-season finale.The Utes go into the Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 2 seed next week. The Buffaloes will be the No. 5 seed. josh Scott led Colorado with 11 points.

(At) No. 18 Arizona 94, Stanford 62: Gabe York, a senior playing in his final home game, made nine 3-pointers to tie the school and McKale Center record and scored a career-high 32 points in Arizona’s rout of Stanford.The Wildcats also set a school record by making 18 3s on Saturday in 36 attempts.The Wildcats (24-7, 12-6 Pac-12) will get a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament. Roscoe Allen and Marcus Allen scored 16 apiece for Stanford (15-14, 8-10).

(At) No. 20 Texas A&M 76, Vanderbilt 67:  Jalen Jones scored 17 points as Texas A&M (24-7, 13-5 SEC) earned at least a share of its first regular-season league title in 30 years. Freshmen Tyler Davis added 16 for the Aggies, who had a three-way share of the title in 1986.Wade Baldwin IV and Damian Jones each scored 11 points for Vanderbilt (19-12, 11-7 SEC).

(At) No. 22 Kentucky 94, LSU 77: Jamal Murray scored 22 points, Skal Labissiere added 18 and Kentucky (23-8, 13-5 SEC) shot 53 percent to race past LSU and claim a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with Texas A&M. Tim Quarterman’s 23 points led LSU (18-13, 11-7 SEC).

No. 25 California 68, (at) Arizona State 65: Tyrone Wallace matched a season high with 24 points and hit two decisive free throws in the final minute to lead California (22-9, 12-6) to a comeback victory over Arizona State that earned the Golden Bears a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament. Eric Jacobsen scored 20 points and fellow senior Gerry Blakes added 14 points for Arizona State (15-16, 5-13).