KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Desmond Bane had 16 points, hitting three free throws with 2.5 seconds left, to help TCU stun top-ranked Kansas 85-82 in the Big 12 quarterfinals Thursday.
The eighth-seeded Horned Frogs (19-14) blew an 11-point halftime lead, and still trailed 80-76 with just over a minute remaining. But a parade of free throws knotted the game, and Alex Robinson’s driving layup gave TCU the lead back with 31 seconds left
Frank Mason answered with a pair of free throws for Kansas (28-4), but the Horned Frogs got the ball to Bane in the corner and he was fouled by Svi Mykhailiuk while putting up a shot.
He calmly drained all of them, and Devonte Graham’s long 3 at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the rim as the Horned Frogs leaped off their benched to celebrate a massive upset of the No. 1 seed.
They’ll play No. 23 Iowa State, which topped Oklahoma State earlier, in Friday’s semifinals.
Kenrich Williams had 13 points, Robinson had 13 and Brandon Parrish had 12 for the Horned Frogs, who caught a break when Jayhawks coach Bill Self suspended Josh Jackson for the game.
Jackson was cited for traffic violations in the latest incident involving the star freshman.
Mason, one of the leading candidates for national player of the year, had 29 points in a virtuoso effort for Kansas. Mykhailiuk had 18, and Landen Lucas had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Jayhawks built a 39-27 lead late in the first half, thanks to Mykhailiuk’s hot shooting and Mason’s ability to get to the rim, but it disappeared after Jamie Dixon got a technical foul.
TCU’s coach barked across the court at one of the officials after Lagerald Vick’s basket gave the Jayhawks their biggest lead. Mason extended the advantage with two free throws, but it seemed as if the Horned Frogs began to channel Dixon’s intensity down the stretch.
They closed the half on a 16-3 run, highlighted by a trio of 3-pointers, and carried a 43-42 lead into the locker room when Carlton Bragg Jr. air-balled a jumper at the buzzer.
Early in the second half, it was Bill Self’s turn to boil over.
He took umbrage with a goaltending call that gave TCU a basket, and refused to back down even when Mykhailiuk tried to distract the official. But it didn’t have the same effect, at least right away — the Horned Frogs instead stretched their lead to 60-49 with 13:55 left.
The Jayhawks finally went on their run a few minutes later, Mason getting it started with a four-point play and then finishing it with a driving layup that gave Kansas a 71-70 lead.
When Williams fouled out with 3:12 to go, Jayhawks looked as if they would pry open the window.
Instead, the Horned Frogs showed some remarkable composure just down the road from the Kansas campus in Lawrence. And when Graham’s heave from the wing bounced off the rim and the buzzer sounded, the tournament’s top seed was done in the quarterfinals for the first time in seven years.
TCU is two wins away from a remarkable trip to the NCAA Tournament, something that even the uber-positive Dixon would have been hard-pressed to imagine a week ago.
Kansas has to hope its body of work this season, including a 13th straight regular-season title, will be enough to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They Jayhawks were in line for the top seed overall, but their upset loss in their home-away-from-home may end those hopes.
TCU gets the red-hot Cyclones on Friday night.
Kansas gets a short bus ride home.