March madness betting favorites the Kansas Jayhawks have secured at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title for the 13th year in a row, tying UCLA’s record from 1967 to 1979 for the most consecutive conference titles in the history of college basketball. Kansas is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press and Coaches polls and were seeded 2nd in the country in the first-ever in-season NCAA Tournament Bracket. All of which makes fans who bet on March madness heavily favor KU. Kansas’s all 13 conference regular season trophies were wheeled out onto James Naismith Court in Allen Fieldhouse following the Jayhawks’ 87-68 win over TCU for a well-deserved celebration.
National Player of the Year candidate Frank Mason III had 20 points – 13 in the first half –, freshman Josh Jackson added 15 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the regular season, junior guard Devonte’ Graham had 17 points with a game-best seven assists, and sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. matched his career-best 15 points with seven rebounds in 22 minutes. Kansas has won an NCAA-leading 60 overall regular-season conference championships, including 17 titles as a member of the Big 12 Conference. The Jayhawks went into halftime with a thin one-point lead after Mason sank a 3-point shot with 30 seconds left in the first half.
Jackson briefly left the court in the first half following an aggravation of his ankle, but he showed to be no worse for wear when he lifted off to dunk a pass from Mason with 16:05 left to ignite an 8-0 run by the Jayhawks. KU put on a March madness betting-worthy performance in the second half, shooting 55% from the floor and holding TCU to 37% shooting. Kansas out-rebounded the Horned Frogs 25-12 in the selfsame half. Jackson once again what he is capable of in the second half with a string of out-of-nowhere assists, including alley-oops to Bragg and sophomore guard Lagerald Vick.
Junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailik made the 13th-straight title academic with a 3-pointer to give the Jayhawks a 78-64 lead with 3:19 left. Jackson added a dunk and Mason another 3-point shot for good measure as well as a 19-point lead with 1:55 to go. Tucker Vang, Tyler Self, Clay Young, Dwight Coleby, and Mitch Lightfoot – aka the Kansas Red Team – even had a chance to play during the final minute of regulation. Young had his first points of the game with a couple of free throws and Coleby finished the game with a put-back dunk before the final buzzer. And there was much rejoicing among Kansas fans who just cannot wait to bet on March madness. During halftime the Jayhawks retired Brandon Rush No. 25 jersey. Rush was a three-time All-Big 12 First Team selection in his three seasons at KU, and a two-time Wooden Award All-American in 2007 and 2008 – the latter of which coincidentally was a season during which Kansas rode its march madness betting favoritism all the way to the national championship.