Kansas-Kansas State brawl could cost Jayhawks a No. 1 seed

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images /

The end of Kansas-Kansas State was marred when a WWE-style brawl broke out at a college basketball game, and it could cost the Jayhawks a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

With Kansas up 81-59 and the final seconds winding down on the clock, victory was all but assured for the Jayhawks. The visiting Kansas State Wildcats, playing until the final buzzer, stole the ball at mid-court as the Silvio De Sousa attempted to dribble out the clock.

DaJuan Gordon, who came up with the steal, streaked toward the basket to at least pull his team within 20. Unfortunately for him, De Sousa was also committed to playing until the final buzzer, timing his chase-down block perfectly with a vicious swat on Gordon’s layup that should’ve put the final feather in Kansas’ cap during a dominant home win.

The problem was, after De Sousa’s volleyball spike closed out the game, he stood over Gordon, who had wound up on the ground after getting blocked. Gordon and his Wildcat teammates took exception to that, and what ensued was pure chaos:

Look closely and you’ll see multi-game suspensions racking up left and right. Punches are thrown, the benches empty and De Sousa even picks up a chair at one point, like something you’d see straight out of WWE.

This is a terrible look for college basketball and the NCAA, especially since the game had already been decided. De Sousa’s stare-down was entirely unnecessary, but so was the physical response and how quickly tensions escalated in a contest that was already over.

A closer look from the ground shows how frightening the incident really was, and it’s the reason you can expect multiple suspensions coming from the NCAA.

More than likely, De Sousa, David McCormack, Marcus Garrett and Ochai Agbaji will all be suspended for a few games for their role in this all-out brawl. That means the Jayhawks, the No. 3 team in the country at 15-3, will be without three starters and one reserve for at least a few games, which could very well cost them their shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas is 5-1 in conference play so far, but has Tennessee, Oklahoma State, No. 18 Texas Tech, Texas, TCU and No. 14 West Virginia coming up over the next two weeks, not to mention a showdown with No. 1 Baylor on Feb. 22.

Punishment is certainly warranted for such an ugly skirmish, as head coach Bill Self even acknowledged. It’s a pity that cooler heads couldn’t have prevailed to ensure this 21-point victory for Kansas didn’t wind up becoming an L in the grander scheme of things.

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