On Saturday top seed Kansas will try to extend that dominance into the championship game of the 2018 Big 12 Tournament against the West Virginia Mountaineers (6 p.m. ET, ESPN). They are on a school record streak of four consecutive NCAA appearances.
"It was a tough loss for us. But coaches tend to worry".
Although the two Kansas post players filling in for injured starter Udoka Azubuike provided solid production, defense underneath was insufficient. Beard's team has attempted 80 more foul shots than any team in the Big 12 but is just 8th in the conference in conversion percentage at 70%.
That's when Miles and Carter, the veteran guards who have been such stalwarts for West Virginia over the years, began playing H-O-R-S-E against each other from beyond the 3-point line.
"I think we're good enough, but it doesn't matter now", Lecomte said. "He's a great scorer". Few have the experience they do.
"I think fatigue and frustration sets in, especially when you turn it over a lot", said senior forward Terry Maston, who finished with 11 points and five rebounds in just his second career start. Tech's next game will be in the NCAA Tournament, with the Red Raiders finding out their opponent on March 11, during Selection Sunday.
Texas Tech roared back with nine straight points to swipe the lead away, setting up a frantic push to the finish - and eventually, a wild celebration on the West Virginia bench. Kansas hit them with a 20-5 run late in the second half capped by a 3-pointer by Malik Newman that effectively iced the victory.
West Virginia gets ready for the Red Raiders.
The Bears actually controlled the tempo much of the first half, relying on their zone defense to keep West Virginia from running. With just a sliver of space, Miles and Carter buried deep shots throughout the second half. The Jayhawks rank 16th in offensive efficiency, while the Mountaineers are 41st in defensive efficiency. They chipped in a combined 36 points on 10-of-16 shooting from three-point range.
"They caused us 22 turnovers", Drew said. West Virginia forward Wesley Harris (21) and Jevon Carter (2) trap Kansas' Lagerald Vick West Virginia guard Daxter Miles floats in the lane. They led 18-9 with 8 1/2 minutes left, and still led when Jake Lindsey made a pair of free throws as the 5-minute mark slipped by.
But Ahmad took over as he scored on a layup and then blew into the paint for a slam. Coming back to beat a team of West Virginia's caliber is exactly what is going to make them one of the favorites to take home the national championship to go along with their Big 12 championship. Their 32-year-old coach had said to reporters: "Our guys run this way for three-and-a-half hours on our first few weeks of practice".