No. 1 Kansas beats No. 2 Oklahoma in triple overtime at Allen Fieldhouse

It's difficult, by definition, for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown to exceed expectations.

But Oklahoma-Kansas somehow did it Monday night.

I mean it really, really did it.

Final: No. 1 Kansas 109, No. 2 Oklahoma 106.

And it took three -- three! -- overtimes to settle things.

"Toughest game I've ever played in," said Kansas senior Perry Ellis, who finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds and still wasn't even close to being the star of the game.

That's because Buddy Hield was.

The Oklahoma senior took 23 shots, made 13 and finished with a career-high 46 points while making a strong case that he should be the leading candidate for National Player of the Year. This was Hield's fifth 30-point game this season, and his fourth in OU's past seven contests. And yet it might forever be bittersweet in his mind, and for three reasons.

  1. Hield turned the ball over with 8.6 seconds left in the third OT.
  2. Hield missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that, if good, would've forced a fourth OT.
  3. And, of course, Oklahoma lost.

Still, what a game -- for Hield, for Ellis and for college basketball in general, and the timing could not have been better considering it was only the fifth No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown ever in January, and it was in prime time on the Monday following the final weekend of the NFL's regular season. In other words, this game was the center of the sports world.

And, again, it did not disappoint.

You like comebacks?

There were plenty. And what'll be forgotten by most, because of the three overtime periods, is that both teams actually held double-digit leads in regulation. Kansas led 32-21 in the first half. Then Oklahoma led 54-44 in the second half.

Still, the game was somehow tied at the end of regulation. And tied at the end of one overtime. And tied again at the end of a second overtime, at which point it became only the second No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in college basketball history to ever reach three OTs.

"That's as good of a regular-season game as I've been a part of," Kansas coach Bill Self said in the locker room. Then he smiled and told his players to go enjoy the rest of night -- this historic night of college basketball that'll be remembered for a long, long time.

No. 1 vs. No. 2 all-time meetings
Date Winner Loser Location
Jan. 4, 2016 No. 1 Kansas 109 No. 2 Oklahoma 107 (3OT) at Lawrence, Kan.
Nov. 12, 2013 No. 2 Michigan State 78 No. 1 Kentucky 74 at Chicago
Feb. 24, 2008 No. 2 Tennessee 66 No. 1 Memphis 62 at Memphis, Tenn.
Feb. 25, 2007 No. 2 Ohio State 49 No. 1 Wisconsin 48 at Columbus, Ohio
Dec. 10, 2005 No. 1 Duke 97 No. 2 Texas 66 at East Rutherford, N.J.
April 4, 2005 No. 2 North Carolina 75 No. 1 Illinois 70 NCAA championship at St. Louis
March 27, 1999 No. 1 Duke 68 No. 2 Michigan State 62 Final Four, at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Feb. 5, 1998 No. 2 North Carolina 97 No. 1 Duke 73 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
March 30, 1996 No. 2 Kentucky 81 No. 1 UMass 74 Final Four at East Rutherford, N.J.
Feb. 3, 1994 No. 2 North Carolina 89 No. 1 Duke 78 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
Feb. 10, 1991 No. 1 UNLV 112 No. 2 Arkansas 105 at Fayetteville, Ark.
March 10, 1990 No. 1 Oklahoma 95 No. 2 Kansas 77 Big Eight semifinals at Kansas City, Mo.
Feb. 13, 1990 No. 2 Missouri 77 No. 1 Kansas 71 at Lawrence, Kan.
March 29, 1986 No. 1 Duke 71 No. 2 Kansas 67 Final Four at Dallas
Feb. 4, 1986 No. 1 North Carolina 78 No. 2 Georgia Tech 77 (OT) at Atlanta
March 9, 1985 No. 1 Georgetown 92 No. 2 St. John’s 80 Big East finals at New York
Feb. 27, 1985 No. 2 Georgetown 85 No. 1 St. John’s 69 at New York
Dec. 15, 1984 No. 1 Georgetown 77 No. 2 DePaul 57 at Landover, Md.
April 2, 1983 No. 1 Houston 94 No. 2 Louisville 81 Final Four at Albuquerque, N.M.
Jan. 9, 1982 No. 1 North Carolina 65 No. 2 Virginia 60 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
Dec. 26, 1981 No. 1 North Carolina 82 No. 2 Kentucky 69 at East Rutherford, N.J.
March 22, 1976 No. 1 Indiana 65 No. 2 Marquette 56 Elite Eight at Baton Rouge, La.
Nov. 29, 1975 No. 1 Indiana 84 No. 2 UCLA 64 at St. Louis, Mo.
March 31, 1975 No. 1 UCLA 92 No. 2 Kentucky 85 NCAA championship at San Diego
March 25, 1974 No. 1 N.C. State 80 No. 2 UCLA 77 (2OT) Final Four at Greensboro, N.C.
Jan. 26, 1974 No. 2 UCLA 94 No. 1 Notre Dame 75 at Los Angeles
Jan. 19, 1974 No. 2 Notre Dame 71 No. 1 UCLA 70 at South Bend, Ind.
Dec. 15, 1973 No. 1 UCLA 84 No. 2 N.C. State 66 at St. Louis, Mo.
March 22, 1968 No. 2 UCLA 101 No. 1 Houston 69 Final Four at Los Angeles
Jan. 20, 1968 No. 2 Houston 71 No. 1 UCLA 69 at Houston
March 18, 1966 No. 1 Kentucky 83 No. 2 Duke 79 Final Four at College Park, Md.
March 20, 1965 No. 2 UCLA 91 No. 1 Michigan 80 NCAA championship at Portland, Ore.
Dec. 14, 1964 No. 2 Michigan 87 No. 1 Wichita State 85 at Detroit
March 24, 1962 No. 2 Cincinnati 71 No. 1 Ohio State 59 NCAA championship at Louisville, Ky.
March 25, 1961 No. 2 Cincinnati 70 No. 1 Ohio State 65 (OT) NCAA championship at Kansas City, Mo.
March 18, 1960 No. 2 California 77 No. 1 Cincinnati 69 NCAA Final Four at San Francisco
March 23, 1957 No. 1 North Carolina 54 No. 2 Kansas 53 NCAA championship at Kansas City, Mo.
Dec. 21, 1954 No. 1 Kentucky 70 No. 2 Utah 65 at Lexington, Ky.
Dec. 17, 1951 No. 1 Kentucky 81 No. 2 St. John’s 40 at Lexington, Ky.
March 26, 1949 No. 1 Kentucky 46 No. 2 Oklahoma A&M 36 NCAA championship at Seattle

Phog Allen Fieldhouse was host to a stone-cold classic on Monday night. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Insider

Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
CBS Sports Shop
Wildcats 2016 Champs Locker Room Gear
Our Latest Stories