No. 18 Arizona State knocks off top-ranked Kansas 80-76
Rob Edwards scored 15 points and hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, setting off a wild celebration in the desert as No. 18 Arizona State knocked off No. 1 Kansas 80-76 on Saturday night.
The second No. 1 team to play in Tempe drew a star-studded crowd, with Michael Phelps, Jason Kidd, Grant Hill, Eddie House and Arizona governor Doug Ducey among the third-largest crowd (14,592) in school history.
Arizona State (9-2) struggled hitting shots around the rim and stopping Kansas preseason All-American Dedric Lawson while falling behind by nine.
Like Arizona State did while beating Kansas a year ago, the Sun Devils rallied late, using a 10-0 run to go up 76-74 with 90 seconds left.
Kansas tied it on two free throws, then Arizona State’s Remy Martin hit a pull-up jumper with 58 seconds left. The Jayhawks (10-1) fumbled the ball away for a backcourt violation on the next possession and Edwards hit the two sealing free throws for Arizona State’s second win over a No. 1 team. The victory set off a massive celebration inside Wells Fargo Arena as the students poured out of the stands onto the court.
The Jayhawks played their fourth straight game without big man Udoka Azubuike due to an ankle injury, failing in their first true road test by not making enough plays down the stretch.
Dedric Lawson led Kansas with 30 points and 14 rebounds.
Arizona State pulled off the upset in Lawrence last season, knocking off the No. 2 Jayhawks 95-85 during an undefeated nonconference schedule that led the Sun Devils into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.
Arizona State entered the rematch with two losses in three games, to No. 6 Nevada and at Vanderbilt.
The Jayhawks moved to No. 1 the AP Top 25 two weeks ago, though have struggled at times to remain undefeated since Azubuike sprained his ankle against Wofford on Dec. 4.
Kansas scraped past New Mexico State and No. 17 Villanova by three each at home, but beat South Dakota by 36 before heading to the desert.
Even with Azubuike out, the Jayhawks dominated Arizona State inside, which opened up the perimeter.
Lawson was the focal point, repeatedly getting good position down low and throwing in a layup on a nifty spin move. The Memphis transfer had 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting by halftime.
Arizona State struggled offensively, but held Kansas scoreless over the final 3:42 to stay within 39-31 at halftime.
The Sun Devils tried to make runs in the second half, but kept missing shots at the rim and the Jayhawks kept answering with baskets.
Arizona State started double teaming Lawson in the second half and pulled within 67-65 on Rob Edwards’ second straight 3-pointer to start its comeback.
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