By MIKE McCURRY On a night in which Allen Fieldhouse set the Guinness world record for the loudest measured crowd during an indoor sporting event, it was impossible to foresee members of the Jayhawks’ faithful streaming toward the exits during what was shaping up to be a convincing loss.Even more difficult was envisioning a comeback for the ages by No. 3 Kansas, which trailed No. 9 West Virginia by 14 with under three minutes to go. Well, what those fans who prematurely exited missed out on was a rally that the New England Patriots are probably envious of. Kansas somehow won 84-80 in overtime on Monday, avoiding what would have been two straight losses at the Phog for the first time since the 1988-89 campaign. Frank Mason had a game-high 24 points, overcoming a disastrous 3-of-13 night from the field by hitting 16 of his 18 free throws. “We had to play every possession like it was our last, because of how much we were down at the end, and that’s exactly what we did, and we fought our way back into it,” Mason, one of the leading candidates for National Player of the Year, said on SportsCenter afterward. Devonte’ Graham added 18, with 14 of those coming over the final 1 minute, 56 seconds of the second half plus the extra session. The junior’s shake-and-bake three-pointer with 2:14 to play in overtime basically provided the final nail in WVU’s coffin.
West Virginia led 64-50 with 2:43 to play in regulation, only to squander that mainly by turning the rock over eight times down the stretch. Esa Ahmad dropped 20 for the Mountaineers, while Tarik Phillip had 18. Bill Self, who was in danger of being swept by a conference opponent for the first time in his 14 seasons in Lawrence, is now that much closer to winning a 13th consecutive Big 12 regular season title. As it currently stands, Kansas is 11-2 in the conference, a full two games up on No. 4 Baylor (9-4), which lost at Texas Tech earlier on Monday. West Virginia dropped to 8-5 in league play. *** Follow Mike on Twitter Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And like ZAGS on Facebook
Yeah, safe to say Devonte Graham was feeling himself right here. pic.twitter.com/NvL3CjozSW— Mike McCurry (@Mike_McCurry16) February 14, 2017