Waco, Texas — Udoka Azubuike and No. 3 Kansas returned the favor in a Big 12 showdown that lived up to the hype.
The Jayhawks share the Big 12 lead again, and could return to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll, as well.
Azubuike had 23 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in a 64-61 win Saturday at Baylor, ending the Bears’ 23-game winning streak and likely ending the Bears’ five-week run as the nation’s No. 1 team.
“You could just feel the buzz. It was an exciting time and a huge win,” Jayhawks guard Devon Dotson said. “We’re a solid team that can make a run in late, late March. … We’re going to enjoy this win, but build off it for sure.”
Kansas (24-3, 13-1 Big 12) has won 12 in a row since its first-ever home loss to Baylor on Jan. 11. The Jayhawks had a 10-point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the rematch before holding off Baylor’s late charge.
“I liked the first game against Kansas better than this one,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “For us, the goal at the beginning of the year wasn’t to sweep Kansas. The goal was to win a Big 12 championship. Their goal is to win a Big 12 championship.”
Baylor (24-2, 13-1) has never won a Big 12 title. There are four games left in the regular season.
Isaiah Moss, who had 11 points, made two free throws for Kansas with 7.9 seconds left before a timeout. The Bears had one more shot, but Jared Butler’s 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key ricocheted off the front of the iron as time expired.
Butler and MaCio Teague had hit consecutive 3-pointers in the final half-minute to get Baylor within 62-61.
Dotson added 13 points for the Jayhawks, who shot 51% (27 of 53) against a tenacious Baylor defense that held them to 55 points in a 12-point loss last month that ended their 28-game home winning streak.
“It meant a lot to our guys, a lot more than the league race,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It meant a lot to us from they beat us the first time at home, and they controlled it. They controlled the game at home a lot more than we controlled the game here.”
Butler had 19 points to lead the Bears, while Freddie Gillespie and Matthew Mayer each had 10.
The sellout crowd of 10,627 at the Ferrell Center, including 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III along with Waco favorites Chip and Joanna Gaines, was already in a frenzy after ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast on the court leading up to the late-morning tip.
Fans were roaring after Teague, who missed the previous two games with a wrist injury, returned to the lineup by swishing a 3-pointer on the game’s first shot and Gillespie made it 5-0.
But Marcus Garrett then had seven points in a 14-2 spurt for Kansas, which never trailed again. Baylor hadn’t been behind by more than two points in any of its previous 12 home games.
The Bears trailed 14-7 before Butler hit a 3-pointer and then had a long pass ahead to Mayer for a layup as the lanky, high-energy sophomore scored eight points in two minutes to tie the game before Kansas went ahead to stay with six points in a row.
That quick Jayhawks spurt included two baskets by Azubuike, who later in the half had back-to-back impressive dunks for nine-point leads.
Azubuike bowed back his shoulders and let out a shout after his powerful slam over the 6-foot-9 Gilliespie. The Jayhawks’ next basket was also a powerful dunk by Azubuike that made it 32-23. He finished 11-of-13 shooting, with at least seven dunks and other inside shots.
“He was great. They did such a great job winning the first time because we had nothing from a scheme standpoint to help him, and today we were able to fill the ball over the top quite a bit,” Self said. “That’s as about as well overall I’ve seen him play. He was terrific.”
Six weeks earlier against Baylor, Azubuike had six points with 11 rebounds.
“The guy can play basketball. The dude can rebound, finishes at the rim, and he does it really well,” Gillespie said. “I think our first game we did a better job as a team keeping him out of his rhythm. This game he was in sync.”
More Top 25
UNLV 66, (at) No. 4 San Diego State 63: Elijah Mitrou-Long scored 19 points, including two free throws with 11.5 seconds left, and UNLV handed San Diego State its first loss of the season, ending the Aztecs’ 26-game winning streak.
San Diego State, which had been the nation’s only undefeated team since Jan. 15, erased most of a 14-point deficit when it pulled to 64-63 on Malachi Flynn’s 3-pointer with 14.5 seconds left. Mitrou-Long was fouled by Matt Mitchell with 11.5 seconds left and made both free throws.
Flynn missed a contested 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left and the ball went to the Runnin’ Rebels. After a long pass down the court, Mitchell ended up with the ball and his desperation shot at the buzzer fell short.
SDSU (26-1, 15-1 Mountain West) unveiled the regular-season conference banner before the game and then looked nothing like the team that raced to the best start in school history.
Amauri Hardy scored 17 points and Bryce Hamilton added 11 points and 10 rebounds for UNLV (15-14, 10-6). Flynn scored 24, Mitchell 13 and Jordan Schakel 10 for SDSU.
(At) No. 5 Dayton 80, Duquesne 70: Obi Toppin had 28 points as Dayton won its 16th game in a row, beating Duquesne.
Jalen Crutcher added 17 points and five assists for the Flyers (25-2, 14-0 Atlantic 10), who have yet to lose in regulation this season.
Toppin, a redshirt sophomore and potential first-round NBA draft choice, was 11 for 16 from the field, including 3 for 5 from beyond the 3-point arc. He topped 1,000 points for his career with an emphatic dunk in the second half.
Sincere Carry had 21 points and six assists for Duquesne (18-8, 8-6).
(At) No. 6 Duke 77, Virginia Tech 64: Cassius Stanley scored 21 points and made a season-high five 3-pointers to help Duke beat Virginia Tech.
Matthew Hurt added 16 points and a season-high 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (23-4, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Duke opened with an 11-2 spurt, hitting three 3-pointers.
Vernon Carey Jr. scored 16 points and Tre Jones had 14 points for the Blue Devils.
Tyrece Radford scored 16 points for Virginia Tech (15-12, 6-10).
No. 8 Florida State 67, (at) North Carolina State 61: M.J. Walker scored all 12 of his points after halftime to help Florida State take control in the second half and beat North Carolina State.
Patrick Williams also scored 12 points for the Seminoles, who have won six of seven to stay near the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. FSU (23-4, 13-3) spent much of the second half shooting better than 50% and repeatedly got into the interior of the Wolfpack defense.
Devon Daniels scored 18 points to lead N.C. State (17-10, 8-8), which was trying to follow its lopsided home win against No. 6 Duke on Wednesday with another big one.
(At) No. 10 Kentucky 65, Florida 59: Immanuel Quickley scored a career-high 26 points, including 15 of Kentucky’s 17 during a decisive second-half stretch as the Wildcats pushed past Florida for their sixth consecutive victory.
Quickley made 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 8 of 17 shots overall to surpass his previous high of 23 points at Auburn on Feb. 1. He scored all but four of his points in the second half. Tyrese Maxey had 13 points for first-place Kentucky (22-5, 12-2 Southeastern Conference), which took a three-game lead over Florida (17-10, 9-5).
Keyontae Johnson had 19 points and Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 18 for the Gators, who had won their previous three games and five of six.
(At) No. 11 Louisville 72, North Carolina 55: Jordan Nwora scored 18 points to lead Louisville over North Carolina.
The Cardinals (23-5, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their second straight game and guaranteed they would stay in first place in the conference ahead of a Monday night matchup at No. 8 Florida State.
Nwora added 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Malik Williams added 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Tar Heels (10-17, 3-13) lost their seventh straight. Cole Anthony led North Carolina with 18 points.
No. 12 Villanova 64, (at) Xavier 55: Saddiq Bey scored 22 points and Villanova extended its late-February surge, beating Xavier for its fourth straight win.
The Wildcats (21-6, 10-4 Big East) have recovered from a three-game losing streak that knocked them out of the league lead. They’ve won three road games during the streak, with victories at Temple, DePaul and Xavier.
The Musketeers (17-10, 6-8) were held to a season low in points while getting swept by Villanova. Tyrique Jones had his ninth straight double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Jermaine Samuels added 17 points for the Wildcats, who never trailed.
(At) No. 13 Auburn 73, Tennessee 66: Samir Doughty scored 22 points and No. 13 Auburn rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat Tennessee in a game marred by an ugly incident involving a fan.
A student was ejected from the game after directing a derogatory comment toward Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi and will face a disciplinary hearing, an Auburn official said. The fan was overheard on TV calling out, “Go back to Uruguay! This is America!”
Auburn stopped a two-game skid. Led by Doughty’s hot streak, the Tigers (23-4, 10-4 Southeastern Conference) scored 18 consecutive points to spark the comeback against the Volunteers (15-12, 7-7).
Jordan Bowden scored a career-high 28 points and made 3 of 4 3-pointers for the Vols. Vescovi had 10 points.
(At) TCU 67, No. 17 West Virginia 60, OT: Kevin Samuel scored six of his 19 points in overtime and TCU extended West Virginia’s Big 12 road woes.
The Horned Frogs (15-12, 6-8 Big 12) thought they had won for just the second time in nine games in regulation when Desmond Bane sent the crowd into a frenzy on a driving layup with 0.9 seconds left. But the senior guard was called for pushing off as he went up for the shot.
Jaire Grayer broke the 55-all tie with his only 3-pointer to start overtime, and Samuel hit two buckets and two free throws as the Mountaineers lost their fifth straight road conference game after beating TCU by 32 at home.
Derek Culver had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Taz Sherman scored 16 points for West Virginia (19-8, 7-7). Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins stayed tied with Dean Smith on the all-time coaching victories list with 879.
UCLA 70, (at) No. 18 Colorado 63: Tyger Campbell had seven of his 15 points during a 20-3 UCLA run in the second half, and the Bruins rallied from nine points down to beat Colorado and tie the Buffaloes atop the Pac-12 Conference.
Campbell added 11 assists and Cody Riley scored 16 points, 14 in the second half. UCLA (17-11, 10-5) has won nine of its last 11.
McKinley Wright IV had 20 points for Colorado, which sent its two seniors off with a disappointing loss in the final home game of the season.
The Buffaloes (21-7, 10-5) missed a chance to retain sole possession of first place in the conference.
(At) Providence 84, No. 19 Marquette 72: Luwane Pipkins scored 24 points and David Duke had 15 to lead Providence over No. 19 Marquette, the Friars’ third straight victory — all over ranked teams.
Markus Howard scored 38 points for Marquette, which lost its third straight game. Howard shot 10 for 25 from the field and had just one assist while committing four of the Golden Eagles’ (17-9, 7-7 Big East) 18 turnovers.
AJ Reeves added 11 points and three others had 10 for Providence (16-12, 9-6), which held a double-digit lead for all but 39 seconds of the game’s last 26:29.
(At) Memphis 60, No. 22 Houston 59: Precious Achiuwa scored 10 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 28.2 seconds left, and Memphis beat Houston.
Malcolm Dandridge scored 12 points and Lester Quinones and Tyler Harris had 10 points apiece as Memphis (19-8, 8-6 American Athletic Conference) won its second straight.
Caleb Mills led Houston (21-7, 11-4) with 21 points and Marcus Sasser added 18 points for the Cougars. Mills’ jumper with 4 seconds left was off the mark. Houston missed its last four shots.