84 - 88 Final - OT
  for this game

Kansas overcomes Texas to win Big 12 title

Mar 12, 2007 - 3:01 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Kansas hasn't figured out how to stop sensational freshman Kevin Durant, but it knows how to beat him.

Freshman Sherron Collins scored 20 points to lead a balanced scoring attack as the second-ranked Jayhawks overcome Durant and No. 14 Texas, 88-84, to claim the Big 12 Conference tournament championship.

Kansas (30-4) beat the Longhorns in the tournament title game for the second consecutive time and locked up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with its 11th consecutive victory.

Overcoming a season high-tying 37 points from the brilliant Durant, the Jayhawks had to overcome a 22-point first-half deficit to win their fifth conference postseason crown.

"To be honest with you, I'm pretty worn out right now, so it wasn't ... I wasn't ecstatic," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "I thought we would get one seed if we won today.

"Of course, I'm sure we made it - if they made the selection before the game was over, then I'm sure that had a chance to hurt our seed being down 22."

The game was reminiscent of the regular-season finale, when Kansas erased a 12-point halftime lead by Texas to win the league title outright. Durant had 25 of his 32 points in the first half of that contest.

The superstar freshman was equally dazzling on Sunday, scoring 12 points in a 19-2 run to spark the Longhorns to a 21-6 lead.

Texas extended the lead to 32-10 with eight minutes left before Kansas stormed back to close within 39-34 at the half.

"Trust me, we don't try to get down 22 again," Self said. "The one thing about Texas, when we play them, the game is a lot faster than it was against K-State or Oklahoma. Twenty-two isn't quite as many because there is so many more possessions in the game.

"And so even though we were down 22, it looked like we could get blown out. I still sense there was time."

Durant hit only four of his final 19 shots, and missed a winning turnaround jumper at the end of regulation.

Brandon Rush did a good defensive job on Durant in the second half, part of a stellar all-around game which saw him produce 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

"I tried to pressure him, make him use his right hand a lot more," Rush said. "My team helped me out a lot by helping out other players."

Leading, 84-81, the Jayhawks' made a pair of huge defensive plays in the final minute of overtime. Brandon Rush and Darnell Jackson each blocked shots by Texas freshman D.J. Augustin, the latter coming with 15 seconds to play.

Jackson managed to control the shot, was fouled and made two free throws for an 86-81 cushion with 13 seconds left.

"I just went over there and put my arms straight up and jumped and came down with the ball and got fouled," Jackson said. "Brandon told me to make these free throws so I made them and they helped us out and helped the team out."

Julian Wright scored 19 points and Mario Chalmers added 17 for Kansas, which finished 20-of-23 at the free-throw line.

Durant finished with 37 points on 12-of-30 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, six blocked shots and two steals.

"I don't want to play him again," Self said of Durant. "He was better today than he was the last time we played him. It's unbelievable how good he is. We did a bad job on him early. He scored eight points before the first TV timeout. We tried to make some adjustments and none of them worked."