SPORTS

5 Crazy Things About Monday Night's Historic Kansas-Oklahoma Game

We hadn't seen a game like that in decades.
Kansas' Devonte' Graham celebrates as the Jayhawks defeat the Oklahoma Sooners, 109-106, at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan
Kansas' Devonte' Graham celebrates as the Jayhawks defeat the Oklahoma Sooners, 109-106, at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 4, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas.

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. 

Other things that happened in 1957: The first Frisbee was invented, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers agreed to haul the team to Los Angeles and the Soviet Union sent Sputnik into space

 

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.

Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Frank Mason III celebrate late in the game against Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan
Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Frank Mason III celebrate late in the game against Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 4, 2016.

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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