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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / December 16.
  • 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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