No. 1 Kansas Holds Off Feisty No. 9 Kansas State For Big XII Crown, 72-64

For more on today's game and these teams, visit our Kansas blog at Rock Chalk Talk and our Kansas State blog at Bring On The Cats.

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Marcus Morris donated 18 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 1 Kansas to its seventh Big 12 Tournament championship behind a 72-64 victory over ninth-seeded Kansas State.

The Jayhawks (32-2) never trailed in the second half and all but assured themselves a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Tyrel Reed provided 15 points, and Sherron Collins scored 12 to go with seven assists for top-seeded Kansas, which outscored Kansas State at the foul line, 24-8. Cole Aldrich chipped in 10 points and eight boards for the victors.

Denis Clemente netted 17 points, while Jamar Samuels and Jacob Pullen had 14 and 13, respectively, for the second-seeded Wildcats (26-7), who were trying for their first Big 12 Tournament title.

Kansas State, which has already recorded a school record in wins this season, was beaten by a 34-20 margin in the paint.

"[We're] not into moral victories; it's something that I've talked to you guys about before, and it's something that we're not going to accept," Kansas State head coach Frank Martin said. "It's okay to hurt right now, because we've invested a lot and we've taken a chance to be special. But nothing to be ashamed of."

The game started slow for both teams, with just two field goals being made in the opening five minutes -- both by Kansas.

After the lead changed hands several times, the Jayhawks took over for good on a Morris jumper and Xavier Henry dunk, the latter yielding a 19-16 score with 8 1/2 minutes left in the opening half.

Two Collins free throws closed out the stanza for a 31-27 margin, and Morris had a pair of buckets to open the second half for an eight-point lead.

A Samuels three-pointer and Clemente steal and layup had the KSU deficit down to 40-38 with 13 1/2 minutes remaining, but the Jayhawks scored nine of the next 12 points, with Brady Morningstar's basket making it 49-41 with under 11 minutes to play.

Kansas State didn't go quietly, again making it a two-possession game, 55-50, on Pullen's three-pointer a little later. Another mini spurt by Kansas, though, quickly followed.

Reed caught an outlet pass from Collins after an Aldrich steal and put in a layup for a 64-52 lead with 4:50 to play.

The closest the Wildcats got from there was six.

"You had two of the best teams in the country playing today," Kansas head coach Bill Self said. "We're fortunate to win, but feel really good about how hard we competed against a really outstanding K-State team."

Kansas State has lost four times in the last 13 games, with three of those setbacks coming to Kansas...This is Kansas' fourth conference tourney crown in the past five years...Henry had just four points on 1-of-7 shooting...Kansas State shot 34.8 percent from the floor, compared to a 44.2 percent shooting effort by the Jayhawks.

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