Kansas clinches outright Big 12 title with thrilling comeback win against West Virginia

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Bill Self has won 190 of the 199 games he’s coached in Allen Fieldhouse. This may have been the most satisfying, and improbable, of them all.

The ninth-ranked Jayhawks were down 18 points to No. 20 West Virginia, a team that had beaten them on the road two weeks earlier. They would be outrebounded 46-34. Two of their best players were out of the game. And from behind the 3-point arc, they would go 0 for 15.

Somehow they won.

Frank Mason III scored the final six points of overtime and the Jayhawks clinched their 11th straight Big 12 regular season championship with a 76-69 victory Tuesday night. They missed by only one point of matching the biggest comeback in the 60-year history of Allen Fieldhouse.

“We haven’t had a better win here for higher stakes than what that was,” said an exhausted Self.

“As a coach, when you have good players and you play well, you should win. But it always means a little more when you can’t get anything going and somehow the kids figure out a way to do it. It was pretty special for me to sit there and watch those guys pull it off.”

Mason had 19 points for the Jayhawks, whose 11 straight conference titles trail only the 13 in a row UCLA won in the John Wooden era.

Junior forward Perry Ellis, the Jayhawks’ leading scorer, appeared to injure his knee late in the first half and did not return. Forward Cliff Alexander, who is awaiting an NCAA ruling on an eligibility issue, was also out.