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Monday / February 20.

No. 3 Kansas Hangs On to Complete Sweep of Kansas State

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By MIKE McCURRY 

Coming off a rare home loss to Iowa State on Saturday, No. 3 Kansas was in danger of undergoing its first single-season losing streak since the 2013-2014 campaign on Monday while paying a visit to in-state rival Kansas State.

The Jayhawks exhibited championship-level resiliency, however, overcoming a career night from Dean Wade, a lackluster showing on the glass, and a hostile Bramlage Coliseum environment en route to a 74-71 victory.

Frank Mason went for 21 points—his 13th 20-plus point game this year—giving it his all until the final buzzer despite battling fatigue throughout.

“I was very tired,” Mason, a leading candidate to win National Player of the Year, told ESPN’s Holly Rowe afterward. “I was exhausted, but I had to stay on the court and make plays for my team.”

Josh Jackson added 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting in only 25 minutes. The freshman, currently projected as the No. 3 overall pick this June per DraftExpress, is averaging 19.6 over his last five games thanks to drastically improved three-point accuracy. He is 11-of-19 from deep during this stretch, after going 11-of-43 behind the arc thru his initial 19 collegiate contests.

Wade, who Jackson battled with all evening, matched his career-high with 20 points to lead the Wildcats.

Kansas State enjoyed a 44-33 advantage on the boards, leading to a 21-8 advantage in second-chance points.

With the win, Kansas improved to 54-5 versus their Sunflower State counterparts dating back to February of 1994.

That includes a 2-0 record this season, with Svi Mykhailiuk’s controversial and well-traveled buzzer-beater providing the difference in a 90-88 triumph back on January 3.

Still, the 88-mile trek to Manhattan has given the Jayhawks fits recently, culminating in losses both in 2013-14 and 2014-15. That makes Monday’s survival even sweeter for Mason and company.

“It’s always a challenge coming in here and playing K-State,” Mason said. “The fans are unbelievable. The energy is so amazing, and they’re into every play. It just took a great effort to come here and get a win.”

Photo: @KUHoops

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