It’s been less than 12 hours since the final whistle blew, but it’s safe to say that Monday night’s triple-overtime marathon matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 college basketball teams in the nation will slide into the annals of NCAA hoops as one of the greatest contests of the 2015-2016 season.
Not only was Monday’s game between Kansas and Oklahoma a test of endurance, it also contained a perfect combination of offensive onslaughts and defensive acumen, as the Jayhawks ultimately sealed the 109-106 victory by pairing its 50 percent shooting from downtown with two huge steals in the contest’s final ticks.
The battle for the nation’s No. 1 slot lasted 55 beautiful, blissful minutes -- but here are five facts and plays that exemplify just how truly amazing the contest was.
1. It’s been nearly six decades since we’ve seen two teams this good play a game that was that great.
2. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield spun, skipped and sliced his way to 46 points, going 8-of-15 from deep.
The guy was lights-out from long-range -- hitting this pump-fake, one-dribble, hand-in-the-face triple in the contest’s third overtime …
… while he also showed off his agility, gliding and contorting his way through the paint and to the basket for this lay-in, only a few minutes earlier.
3. We saw a 20-point momentum swing in just about five minutes of game time.
With 3:03 remaining in the first half, a Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk 3-pointer gave Kansas the 37-26 lead. Right after intermission, with 17:53 to go in regulation, a Khadeem Lattin dunk capped off a huge Sooners run, pushing the visiting team to a 51-42 advantage.
4. It took this contested, falling-to-the-floor trey to break the contest’s stalemate and give Kansas an edge in the final stanza.
Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 21 points, shooting 9-of-17 on the night, including another clutch basket with 75 seconds left in the battle.
By the way, this second-half slam wasn’t half bad, either.
5. Each team was killer from 3-point range, shooting at a combined clip of 49.25 percent -- but, at the end of the day, the cliché rang true: Defense won the game for Kansas.
Frank Mason III tallied two steals in the final 21 seconds, giving the Jayhawks a pair of extra possessions that enabled the home team to tie the contest, take the lead and ultimately clinch the win.
More Jayhawks-Sooners matchups, please.
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