March 3, 2007

KU completes second half comeback to win title

It was a tale of two halves for Bill Self and third-ranked Kansas (27-4; 14-2) on Saturday afternoon. Behind Kevin Durant's 25 first half points, No. 15 Texas (22-8; 12-4) led by 12-points at the half. However, the Jayhawks opened up the second half with a furious run and the Longhorns could never regain the lead. Sophomore Mario Chalmers scored a team high 21-points and was 5-of-5 from behind the arc. KU won its 1,900 game and 50th conference championship.

"I thought they had us on our heels the whole half," said Self moments after KU defeated UT, 90-86. "That was as good a half of offensive ball I think I've ever had a team play on us. With 11-for-14 on three-pointers, they were killing us. We forced a few turnovers and had one steal at half time. We didn't do anything. If you go back and watch the tape, of the 11 threes that they made, I guarantee eight of them were pretty well guarded. We tried everything to guard Kevin Durant.

"We put Julian Wright on him, we put Shady (Darrell Arthur) on him, we put Brandon Rush on him, we put Rodrick Stewart on him," he added.

"He's one of the best players that's ever played on this court and his performance today was incredible. A.J. Abrams made shots and still at halftime we were only down 12. Twelve points in this game is two minutes because there were no shot clock violations today. We did go out better in the second half. Who would have thought that at the end of the game we shot the ball better than they did from the three-point line.

"I thought Mario Chalmers was great and set the tone and Julian Wright had great passes. It couldn't have worked out better for us the way we had to win the game. Today was really good. We got an early wake-up call."

The Texas Longhorns could simply do no wrong against the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half of Saturdays highly anticipated Big 12 Showdown. Durant connected on 10-of-14 field goals, was 5-of-5 from behind the arc and scored 25-points. Fellow freshman D.J. Augustin was just as impressive in the first half.

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