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No. 16 Kansas Falls to Cincinnati in Big 12 Championship, 72-52


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dan Skillings Jr. scored 25 points, Cincinnati took advantage of No. 16 Kansas playing without injured stars Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar Jr. and the Bearcats topped Kansas, 72-52 on Wednesday night.


John Newman III added 12 points and Simas Lukosius had 10 for the No. 11 seed Bearcats (20-13), who knew they had to keep winning to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Now, they will get another opportunity to pick up a marquee win on Thursday, when they face No. 14 Baylor — the third seed in the league tourney — in the quarterfinal round.

Dickinson missed the game after dislocating his shoulder in a loss to Houston last weekend, while McCullar has been dealing with a knee injury. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said earlier Wednesday that he expects the Big 12’s two leading scorers to able to practice Monday, and that bodes well for their NCAA Tournament hopes.

It certainly didn’t help their chances in the conference tournament.

The situation grew more dire for Kansas, trailing 43-38 with just over 10 minutes left in the game, when Elmarko Jackson came up hobbling. And even more so when KJ Adams Jr. crashed to the floor defending a fast break and briefly left the game.

Adams returned to lead the No. 6 seed Jayhawks (22-10) with 22 points, tying his career high total. Jackson also was able to finish and scored five.

Day Day Thomas, who hit seven threes and scored 29 points in their opening win over West Virginia, remained hot from behind the arc in the first half. Lukosius, who also had seven threes and scored 31 a day earlier, did his early damage around the rim. By the time Kansas came up empty on a final possession of the first half, the 12-time tournament champions were facing a 38-25 hole.

The Jayhawks dug out by holding Cincinnati to a 1-for-13 start from the field in the second half, and they were helped by a pro-Kansas crowd inside T-Mobile Center that roared when their team closed within 40-38 with 13:30 to go.

But the Jayhawks kept missing on open looks, and that gave the Bearcats an opportunity to rebuild their lead.


Kansas will rest and prepare for the 2024 NCAA Tournament.