Resident Weekly

A Exclusive Current Affairs Platform


The Jayhawks’ 19-Game Home win Streak is Snapped When BYU Upsets No. 7 Kansas

BYU coach Mark Pope stated that the location of Tuesday night’s 76-68 victory over No. 7 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse was one of the reasons it was noteworthy.

Pope remarked, “I think the guys agree that everybody that grows up knows what this place is, and then, this was my first time walking into a game and I’ve never seen an atmosphere quite like this,” following the Jayhawks’ 19-game home winning run to end. “It’s actually really special. This is a great team. We’re grateful we got an opportunity to come and compete here. It’s one of the meccas in college basketball.”

But Pope questioned if he had interrupted his team’s flow and denied them a chance to pull off the upset late in the second half. He got into an animated discussion with the referees during a break, and with 7:50 remaining in the game, he was assessed a technical penalty.

Pope stated that the technical caused the Cougars to refocus rather than inspiring his team.

Pope admitted, “I was frustrated in the moment,” “I wish that I was such a genius coach that like, ‘I’m going to get a tech right now and rally the troops.’ That would be a little bit disingenuous. I was actually surprised that the tech was called with the conversation we were having. … I ended up giving [two points] to the other team, and my guys’ composure stayed perfect. And in this environment, in this atmosphere, that’s really hard to do. It’s a credit to these guys and how together they are and how much trust they have in each other, so I think that was the best part of the tech for me.”

A double-digit advantage was erased by BYU in the second half with a flurry of 3-pointers (7-of-15 after halftime). Additionally, as BYU took control of the game after the break, Kansas was unable to generate any offense from its half-court sets, missed crucial free throws in the closing moments, and was unable to defend the perimeter.

However, Pope said that the technical made the Cougars refocus more than it inspired them.

This was only the 18th home defeat for Kansas since Bill Self took coach in 2003. It also ended a few other noteworthy streaks for the Jayhawks, such as an 82-game home win streak when leading at the half and a 67-game home win streak against opponents who are not ranked.

Self remarked that even before the game started, he expected a poor performance.

“You could feel this coming today at shootaround,” he stated.”We had a terrible shootaround. The focus wasn’t very good. The energy level wasn’t very good. It’s not anything from an attitude standpoint. It happens over the course of a season where you have days like this.”

In the last minutes of the game, Kansas was unable to muster the offensive firepower to match BYU’s intensity due to Kevin McCullar Jr.’s sixth game-ending injury to his knee. A possible All-American and a first-round choice in this summer’s NBA draft, McCullar won’t be making a comeback this season until he’s healthy and ready to support the Jayhawks in the postseason, according to a recent statement from Self.

Following the team’s defeat on Tuesday, Self gave the impression that McCullar won’t be coming back.

Self remarked, “We’re preparing like he won’t [return],” “This is who we are. When we’re good, we’re pretty good, and when we’re not, we’re not. We played pitifully tonight. … It would help if we had [McCullar] back. But we’ve been dealing with this for about five weeks where he hasn’t been himself from a health standpoint. Even when he played, he wasn’t himself. We’re not counting on [his return]. We hope it can happen, but we’re certainly not banking on it.”

Though Self pointed out that his team’s personnel issues shouldn’t take away from BYU’s victory—the team has already won four games this season against opponents ranked by the AP, which is its second-highest total in a season during the poll history (since 1948–49).

According to KenPom and other measures, Pope stated that the Cougars, who were visiting the Phog for the first time since 1971, knew what to expect in America’s toughest league when they entered the Big 12 “humble.” However, he stated that a cohesive squad that persevered late was the reason for Tuesday’s victory on the road in BYU’s conference debut.

“A lot of people don’t beat them at home, so this is really special for us,” BYU guard Jaxson Robinson said after scoring a game-high 18 points alongside teammate Dallin Hall. “We know that we’re not done, so we’ve got a lot more to accomplish.”

error: Content is protected !!