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Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats end Sunflower Showdown with massive brawl

What looked to be nothing more than a Kansas Jayhawks blowout win over the Kansas State Wildcats turned into much more on Tuesday night, with a fight breaking out on the floor mere moments before the end of the game.

KU officially picked up an 81-60 victory, improving to 5-1 in Big 12 play. K-State is now 1-5 in conference games.

The melee broke out almost exactly as the game ended. With the Jayhawks up by 22 and mere seconds left, Wildcats freshman guard DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from KU junior forward Silvio de Dousa, ran down the court and attempted a layup. De Sousa pursued and blocked the shot, then stood over Gordon as the latter lied on the floor following the play.

What ensued included both benches clearing and punches being thrown. De Sousa at one point picked up a stool and held it over his head, but he never swung it and no one was hurt with it.

As of now, no injuries to players, coaches or fans have been announced.

“I’m just happy nothing major happened to either team,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said.

Weber added that he was walking over to shake hands with Kansas coach Bill Self when the fight started.

“I have no idea, I didn’t see anything,” Weber said. “It’s a shame it ended that way.”

The Big 12 will hand out its own punishments, and Self said there will be consequences for Jayhawks who were involved.

“That was an embarrassment on our part for the role we played in it,” Self said.

Maturity and embarrassment were common refrains for Self in his postgame comments. He said that if the other team is playing to the final whistle then there isn’t room to be offended by whatever happens after that. However, he also said that there is still no excusing what transpired.

“Regardless of how it got started, that’s no way for mature men to act regardless of situation,” Self said.

Players were not made available for comment after the game, and Self said that the conversation in the locker room about the incident was one-way communication from the coaches to the players. He added that he thinks Kansas was in the wrong, but added that he wasn’t saying both teams weren’t somehow at fault.

Weber also said that he had told his players to stop pressing and fouling at the end of the game.

As for the game itself, the Jayhawks were in firm control from nearly the very beginning, and it was freshman guard Christian Braun who provided the biggest spark.

He scored a career-high 20 points in the blowout win, including a 6-of-10 effort from three-point range.

Self said that for players like Braun, a native of Burlington who went to high school at Blue Valley Northwest in Overland Park, the Sunflower Showdown often means more than it sometimes does for out-of-state players.

“He was the best player in the game,” Self said. “I know it meant a lot to (former K-State forward) Dean Wade, to the Wayne Simiens, and to Christian Braun it will as well.”

Outside of Braun’s effort from deep it was a tough shooting night for the Jayhawks. The rest of the KU roster went just 3-of-16 from three. Sophomore guard Devon Dotson was the second-leading scorer for Kansas with 18 points, while senior center Udoka Azubuike had his seventh double-double of the year with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

As for the Wildcats, their offensive woes that have been present almost all year, save for an upset win over West Virginia on Saturday, were on display again on Tuesday. K-State shot under 40% from the field as a team and it was just 8-of-22 from three.

Junior guard David Sloan made his first start of the year in the loss, though, and showed why Wildcats fans have wanted to see more playing time for him. He led K-State in scoring with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

“He can make some plays,” Weber said about Sloan. “He gets downhill, for a little guy he gets in that paint and makes some plays.”

The Big 12/SEC Challenge is up next for both teams, which means KU will host Tennessee on Saturday, with ESPN’s College GameDay in attendance, while K-State will visit Alabama. But, until punishments are levied by the programs and the Big 12, we don’t know which Jayhawks and Wildcats will actually be able to play this weekend.

Click below to hear what KU coach Bill Self and K-State coach Bruce Weber said after the game.

Bill Self

Bruce Weber

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