Self takes blame for missed chances as KU falls


With his team up 82-81 in the final minute of a rivalry game at Kansas State, Kansas star Jalen Wilson hit what appeared to be a 3-pointer to extend his team’s lead.

There was just one problem: Jayhawks coach Bill Self had called a timeout a split-second before Wilson’s potential game-winner.

No. 13 Kansas State would go on to win 83-82 in overtime off an alley-oop from Markquis Nowell to Keyontae Johnson with 25.4 seconds to play. The No. 2 Jayhawks had one last possession, but just like at the end of regulation, they failed to put up a shot before the buzzer sounded.


“The first thing I want to say is we didn’t get a shot at the end of regulation or the end of overtime. … That’s on me,” Self said after the game. “We didn’t get a shot. And then, I call timeout and [Wilson] makes the bomb, too. So that could have been the difference between winning and losing right there, too.”

Some of Wilson’s teammates had their hands on their heads as Wilson’s shot sailed into the basket just as they heard the whistle. If it had counted, Kansas would have led 85-81 with 40 seconds to play.

But the team’s challenges were bigger than a timeout at a crucial moment.

Kansas State, which has already surpassed last year’s 14 wins in Jerome Tang’s first season, led by 14 midway through the first half. The Wildcats also connected on 41 percent of their 3-point attempts. Johnson and Desi Sills each finished with 24 points.

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Wilson finished with a career-high 38 points, but Kansas’ 10-game winning streak ended on Tuesday in Manhattan. K.J. Adams, Kevin McCullar Jr. and Gradey Dick had all fouled out with 90 seconds to go in overtime.

With The Wildcats’ win over Kansas and Iowa State‘s win over Texas on Tuesday, there is now a three-way tie for first place (Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State) in the Big 12.

Self said Tang, the former Baylor assistant who has revitalized Kansas State’s program, and Iowa State’s T.J. Otzelberger both deserve praise for their efforts thus far.

“[Tang] and [Otzelberger], to me, are the two leading candidates for coach of the year in our league and national coach of the year, too,” Self said. “Nobody has done a better job of assembling talent in a short amount of time and getting them to play as hard and as well together as those guys have from what I’ve seen.”


Tang enjoyed the moment following his team’s win as Kansas State fans stormed the court after the Wildcats ended a seven-game losing streak against their in-state rival. As he addressed the crowd after the game, however, Tang said he wants fans to get used to those victories.

“It is amazing what you can accomplish when you do it out of a motive of love and joy and passion,” Tang told the crowd at Bramlage Coliseum. “Now, I told ya’ll, we’ll get you one court-storming. But from here on out, expect to win.”


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