Ellis and No. 1 Kansas romp over No. 23 Texas 86-56
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Perry Ellis scored 20 points and top-ranked Kansas rolled over No. 23 Texas 86-56 on Monday night, an emphatic exclamation point that clinched the outright Big 12 championship for the Jayhawks.
Kansas had already earned at least a share of a 12th straight crown and settled the question of whether they would get to claim it as their own in the opening minutes with a barrage of 3-pointers, a steady diet of points from Ellis and defense that gave Texas nothing easy.
The Jayhawks (26-4, 14-3) made 11 3-pointers, led by 24 points by halftime and sent Texas' sellout home crowd headed to the exits early. Ellis finished 9 of 11 from the field.
Frank Mason III added 14 points for Kansas.
Javan Felix scored 13 points for Texas (19-11, 10-7), which has never beaten a No. 1-ranked opponent in nine tries.
Kansas, which spent two weeks at No. 1 in early January, looked every bit the part this time. And in a season the Big 12 finally seemed like it could crown a new champion, the Jayhawks stormed through the second half of the league schedule with a nine-game winning streak to take it again.
Kansas has won nine of its last 10 against Texas, but came into this one expecting a much tougher fight than the Longhorns put up.
With four wins already this season over Top 10 opponents, Texas looked like a team ready to grab another. The Longhorns came in brimming with confidence as the league upstart under first-year coach Shaka Smart. And after its impressive win two days earlier over Oklahoma, Texas turned out its biggest - and rowdiest - crowd of the season.
The Jayhawks greeted it with little more than a shrug and a scoring burst at the start that overwhelmed the Longhorns from the opening tip.
Devonte' Graham and Mason made three 3-pointers in a 15-0 run as Texas missed its first 14 shots. And Ellis had hardly even gotten started. The senior forward dominated Texas' front line for 15 points in the first half. His 3-pointer put the Jayhawks up by 21 points with 4 minutes left.
Even when Texas started matching shots, that's all the Longhorns could do. The Jayhawks shot 66 percent in the first half and consecutive 3-pointers by Wayne Selden Jr., and Brannen Greene in the final minutes sent Kansas into halftime with a 47-23 lead.
The Kansas swagger seemed to get bigger with every basket. Ellis weaved his way to another easy layup, Graham swished two more 3-pointers and two thunderous dunks by Jamari Traylor pushed the Jayhawks' lead to 67-36 with just under 13 minutes to play.
Kansas: The Jayhawks rank fourth nationally in 3-point percentage and have made 10 or more 3-pointers 11 times this season.
Texas: The Longhorns' offense stalled mostly because Isaiah Taylor never got started. The point guard has been the catalyst for Texas all season - he's their leading scorer - but started 0-for-8 shooting and missed several open looks. Taylor didn't score until making a steal and a layup with 1:26 left in the first half.
Kansas hosts No. 21 Iowa State on Saturday
Texas plays at Oklahoma State on Friday