Texas takes Big 12 Tournament crown with 20-point victory over Kansas

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

No. 2-seed Texas won the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday, defeating No. 1-seed Kansas 76-56 in a dominant victory in Kansas City.

In what was a near-home environment at the T-Mobile Center, a mere 45 minutes from campus for the Jayhawks, it was Texas’ depth and continued dominance from senior forward Dylan Disu that propelled them over their favored opponent.

Texas ran the floor for much of Saturday’s action, but it was freshman guard Arterio Morris who tied the bow on the Longhorns’ second tournament championship in three years.

Morris put a stamp on Texas’ dominant performance with an elevating one-handed slam on a lob from graduate guard Sir’Jabari Rice in transition. The alley-oop forced Kansas to call one of its final two timeouts as the Longhorns pushed their lead to a game-high 20 points.

I’m just so proud of these guys.

— Rodney Terry

However, Disu — who has led Texas for the entirety of the tournament — was its main spark, yet again. The forward tallied a team-high 18 points and six rebounds in just 21 minutes on the court. 

The offense seemed to run through Disu, who consistently received the ball outside the paint and would either feed it to one of his teammates or take it in himself. Disu led the team with 18 points and finished as both the game’s Most Valuable Player and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

The Texas guards, namely Rice and graduate guard Marcus Carr, combined for 54 points with Rice and Carr scored 17 apiece. Rice and Carr both joined Disu on the All-Big 12 Tournament team.

Joining Morris off the bench, senior forward Brock Cunningham played efficiently, scoring eight points, and leading the team with nine rebounds.

The championship win was one of the Longhorns’ best start-to-finish victories of the season and came at a pivotal moment for them. Texas has now beaten Kansas twice in eight days, putting itself in contention for a No. 1-seed in March Madness. They’ll find out tomorrow whether the they’ve done enough this season and in the Big 12 tournament to earn it.

“This has been a resilient group all year long,” interim head coach Rodney Terry told ESPN’s Kris Budden postgame. “I’m just so proud of these guys. I’m just so happy for them; they worked their tails off. We’re Big 12 champs.”