The game was over. No, seriously, there was no time left on the clock. Nothing was going to stop the Kansas State Wildcats from taking their annual loss to the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse. What happened after the final buzzer sounded, however, was a completely different story.
The 81-60 final score was typical in the Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence, Kansas, but at the moment, that’s a complete afterthought thanks to an ugly postgame brawl that cleared both benches and even featured a KU player holding a stool over his head like it was the WWE.
That’s how ugly it got and it completely stained what was a generally drama-free NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday night.
Kansas-Kansas State Postgame Brawl
Here’s what happened: Trailing by over 20 points in the final seconds, K-State freshman guard DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from KU big man Silvio De Sousa. He went to the rim for a garbage-time lay-up, but De Sousa smacked the ball out of bounds with no time left.
Instead of everyone going to the locker room, De Sousa elected to stand over and taunt Gordon. That quickly led to one of the biggest fights of the season anywhere in the country.
The details of what happened have been subject to debate ever since, and it’s something KU head coach Bill Self, K-State coach Bruce Weber, and Big 12 Conference will certainly have to look at. Harsh penalties and punishments for both men’s basketball teams are likely on the way in the aftermath.
“The conduct of a few of our student-athletes at the conclusion of tonight’s game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are. Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas States to determine appropriate consequences. There is no place for this conduct in college athletics or here at KU. I would like to apologize to the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State University, Gene Taylor, Bruce Weber and all fans for the lack of sportsmanship from members of our team this evening.”Advertisement
— KU Athletic Director Jeff Long
If this were a minor scuffle, a couple of rivals pushing each other following a blowout game, this would be swept under the rug. People would be talking about Christian Braun’s career-high 20 points or Devon Dotson’s strong floor game with 18 points. But it wasn’t. It was an ugly brawl and a melee that got social media beyond riled up.
After De Sousa stood over Gordon, K-State teammates rushed to the scene. Antonio Gordon, David Sloan, and James Love all seemed to have a role in some way, whether it was pushing or squaring up to punch. Yet, it was De Sousa’s actions many keep talking about.
De Sousa appeared to throw a punch. He also picked up a stool and lifted it over his head until KU assistant coach Jerrance Howard came to the rescue. Other Kansas players were seen in the scuffle, too.
When everyone cleared, both teams went to the locker room. Then, the coaches met with the officials at midcourt. A technical foul was issued on De Sousa, one second was put back on the clock, and KSU was awarded two free throws. Pierson McAtee went 1-for-2.
The end of Kansas-Kansas State games never seem to fail. As someone who has covered or attended at least 20 Sunflower Showdowns since 2006, it’s not overly shocking some late nonsense happened again. But for the rest of the world, it looked like a bunch of young guys showing a sign of immaturity.
Look, Gordon didn’t have to steal the ball, but he did. De Sousa made up for it by making a great play to end the game. What took place after that sequence — literally all of it — are the things that shouldn’t have happened and now everyone awaits the consequences before KU hosts Tennessee and K-State plays Alabama this weekend.