KU latest top-3 group to topple in loss to UCF

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN

    • Staff WriterJan 10, 2024, 10:37 PM ET Close Covers college basketball
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

After his team got better from a 16-point deficit in the very first half to protect a 65-60 win over No. 3 Kansas on Wednesday, UCF coach Johnny Dawkins could not get through the crowd. With every step he took, there were handshakes and high fives to praise him on his team snapping an eight-game losing streak versus ranked teams.But another historical minute likewise unfolded in that win: For just the 4th time in college basketball history and the very first time in twenty years, the leading 3 teams in the Associated Press survey have actually all lost to unranked challengers in a two-day span, according to ESPN Stats & Information.The Jayhawks ‘loss Wednesday followed Purdue

‘s 88-72 loss at Nebraska and Houston’s 57-53 loss at Iowa State, both of which unfolded Tuesday. Tennessee, ranked No. 5, also lost 77-72 at Mississippi State on Wednesday.Editor’s Picks This is the very first time in the history of the Associated Press survey that 4 top-five teams have actually lost to unranked teams in a two-day period, per ESPN Stats & Details.”We kept thinking, and our guys kept combating, “Dawkins stated. “We left to a truly excellent start in the game. They have a champion pedigree. A champion program. Excellent coach. And I feel like guys simply kept battling. We knew we could not get it all back in one possession. So what we wanted to do was chip away, chip away. And I thought we did that by halftime, and we brought that momentum into the second half. “With 3:45 to play in the first half, Kansas took a 35-19 lead on Dajuan Harris Jr.’s layup. Although the Jayhawks had actually taken control of the game early,

Dawkins switched to a zone appearance in the 2nd half, which appeared to frustrate the Jayhawks. In the 2nd half, Kansas connected on just 32%of its field goal attempts and finished 3-for-11 from the 3-point line.”I believed it was necessary for us to sort of mix it up, “Dawkins said.”They have impressive players. Those guys can making plays at any time, so we simply wished to keep them off balance as best we could. And tonight it worked. It is among those things where, you do not understand, tomorrow it might not work, but tonight it worked for us. I’m happy for our guys. I thought our effort was great and I’m very pleased with what they accomplished.”The Knights signed up with Cincinnati, Houston and BYU as additions to the Big 12 this season. Next year, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado will show up. But the improved depth of the Big 12, the leading conference in America for the bulk of the previous years, is already apparent.Big plays by Ibrahima Diallo(13 points, five rebounds, three helps, one block), Jaylin Sellers (18 points )and Darius Johnson (17 points) assisted UCF capture a crucial win in just its second Big 12 game. The sellout crowd played a significant function, too. All 10,000 seats at Addition Financial Arena were filled for the match against Kansas.Dawkins said the buzz in the arena developed the perfect conditions for the 3rd upset of a top-three men’s college basketball group in less than 48 hours. It also was simply the second win for UCF over a top-five group. The program’s other top-five success happened against then-No

. 4 UConn on Nov. 25, 2011.” It was electric,”Dawkins said about the crowd.”The energy and enthusiasm in the structure is why we won. That’s what we’ve discussed. We need to do this together. Our community came out and they rallied behind us.”

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