AUSTIN, Texas — In what may be the best basketball played this season, Texas came together and played as a single cohesive unit to bring down No. 8 Kansas 79-76 before a packed Frank Erwin Center crowd of 14,688. There were play makers, high scorers, unsung hero's and one player who did not score.
Texas’s bench scored 32 points. Also, Texas only had seven turnovers and scored 24 points off Kansas’ 15 turnovers. Texas made 28-67 of their field goals (42%) compared to Kansas hitting 28-48 of their field goals 58%.
Texas played tough on the boards with 33 total rebounds (18 defensive, 15 offensive) and scored 13 off second chance offensive rebounds.
The game started fast and never slowed. Marcus Carr’s 3 pointer at the buzzer to send Texas into the locker room with a 40-35 lead at halftime causes the crowd to erupt like a volcano in the middle of Texas. Kansas out scored Texas in the second half 41-39, but it was not enough.
Timmy Allen scored a team high 24 points hitting 11-17 field goals, 2-3 free throws, and nine rebounds. Tre Mitchell scored 17 points hitting 4-12 field goals, 8-8 free throws, 1-6 3 pointers, and had four rebounds. Mitchell now has 999 points in his college career.
Marcus Carr hit 10 points, 3-13 field goals, 2-6 3 pointers, 2-2 free throws, and four assists. Andrew Jones also scored 10 points while hitting 4-9 field goals, 2-2 free throws.
If there was an MVP of the game, you would be hard pressed to not give it to Timmy Allen for his outstanding game, however there is one player who only scored 7 points (2.7 less than his average) who is the unsung hero of the game and may actually be responsible for Texas’ victory.
That hero is #3 senior guard Courtney Ramey who is 6’3” 185 lbs. and guarded #30 senior guard Ochai Agbaji who is 6’5” 215 lbs. A difference of two inches and 30 lbs. Ramey’s defense would hold Agbaji to only 11 points compared to his 20.3 average per game. Agbaji’s season high is 37 points against Texas Tech on Jan 24. Agbaji has 3 turnovers to Ramey zero.
Let’s do the math. Texas won by only three points, 79-76.
Agbaji averages 20.3 points per game and he scored 11. Difference (20.3 - 11 = 9.3 points)
Ramey scored 7 points, though his average is 9.7 points per game (9.7 - 7 = 2.7 points).
Let’s say both players scored their average, what would have been the outcome. Texas 82 Kansas 85. Ramey’s defense against one of the top college players in the nation was critical in this win.
But wait … there’s more. Texas played 10 players and they all scored except for one player. Brock Cunningham was a starter, but did not score and in fact only did one thing that may have altered the game in Texas’ favor.
Cunningham started the game and only played seven minutes. He was substituted In/out four times and had two fouls. He had one play that may have turned the momentum to Texas.
With :05 seconds left in the first half, Cunningham steals the ball, passes it to Marcus Carr who hits a three pointer at the buzzer to give Texas a 40-35 lead at halftime.
Texas kept the lead until the 17 minute mark in the second half when Kansas took the lead and kept it until :55 seconds left in the game.
Tre Mitchell scores a 3-pointer to bring Texas within one point 75-76. Timmy Allen hits a jumper with :21 seconds left to go up 77-76. Marcs Carr gets the ball and was fouled with :06 remaining. Carr hits both to make the score 79-76, with :06 seconds in the game. A three-pointer by Kansas would tie the game and now it is Kansas’ ball. Kansas calls a timeout.
With :02 in the game, Christian Bishop commits a personal foul on Jalen Wilson to sent him to the free throw where he misses and hero Courtney Ramey gets the defensive rebound and throws the ball into the rafters as the buzzer goes off and the crowd rush center court.
The MVP really does go to the entire team. Everyone contributed and came together for the massive win.