I wonder how many people in Manhattan were calling a charge of Elijah Johnson's last drive of regulation last night at Iowa State.
Self the gamesman--
Spending most of the night at the shooting guard, the senior was scintillating. His 39 points were the most by a player in the Big 12 this season, he had eight of those points in the final 35.7 seconds. He also had 7 assists in the game in what was the best individual performance of the season by a Jayhawk. Johnson is a really engaging and bright young man who's struggled at the point this season, I was really glad to see him have a game like this.
Big 12 to hear from Hoiberg---
Iowa State Coach Fred Hoiberg will have a couple of video clips to share with the conference office. It's incredible that Jeff Withey's fifth foul was missed with left. Somehow the call went against Kevin Young, it ended up not making that much difference even into overtime, but it could have. The big call, though, was the charge/block with KU down two at the end of regulation. Johnson appears to have charged, in a play that had far too much contact for a whistle not to have been blown. Commentator Fran Frachilla took the officiating crew to task for swallowing their whistles and he's right.
It's a numbers game---
Iowa State had hit 22 straight free throws before finally missing for the only time in the waning seconds. That miss by Korie Lucious with 0:11 seconds left made it a two point game instead of three and allowed KU a chance to go to the basket for the tie instead of shooting a more difficult three. Iowa State made a school record 17 triples, but they didn't have one over the last 9:00 minutes.
I'm trying to think of a better coach than Bill Self, who won his 500th game last night at Iowa State. That's 500 wins in 662 career starts, which means he's won over 75 percent of the time. Of course that includes stops at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois. At Kansas Self has won over 83 percent of his games in his nine plus seasons. That's simply incredible.
What I love about the Jayhawks---
Iowa State had won 22 straight games at home, the third longest winning streak in the country. Behind Allen Fieldhouse at KU, Hilton Coliseum is consistently the next toughest environment in the Big 12. Not that it deterred Kansas. I love a team that can take a punch and be all the better for it. The Jayhawks get everybody's best effort, especially on the road and they just keep delivering. They were all but beaten last night, but they just wouldn't allow themselves to believe it. That takes unique toughness-Kansas is unique.
Nearly lost on us---
K-State toyed with Texas Tech for a half, before blowing them out in the second to retain a share of the conference lead. The 'Cats played well over the last twenty minutes, but Tech is bad. It must have been hard for them to watch the last few minutes up in Ames, although I'd bet they weren't surprised as they've been on the receiving end from KU as much as anyone.