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Jan 10, 2024 9:38 pm

UCF upsets No. 3 Kansas for second-ever Top-5 win

Jaylin Sellers scored 18 points and UCF defeated a Top 5 program for just the second time in school history, upsetting No. 3 Kansas 65-60 on Wednesday night in Big 12 play at Orlando, Fla.

Darius Johnson added 17 points, six assists and three steals and Ibrahima Diallo had 13 points as the Knights (10-4, 1-1 Big 12) overcame a 16-point deficit to prevail in their first ever meeting with Kansas. The upset came in UCF’s Big 12 home debut and was their first Big 12 conference win.

UCF’s only other takedown of a top-five team was a 68-63 triumph over No. 4 UConn on Nov. 25, 2011.

Kevin McCullar Jr. recorded 16 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Jayhawks (13-2, 1-1), who had a nine-game winning streak snapped. Hunter Dickinson had just 12 points and four rebounds, while KJ Adams Jr. added 10 points.

Diallo hit a turnaround jumper to put UCF ahead for good with 2:58 left. C.J. Walker added two free throws to give the Knights a 61-57 lead with 1:52 left. A layup by Sellers gave UCF a six-point lead with 39.7 seconds remaining.

Dickinson buried a 3-pointer with 16.5 seconds remaining to bring the Jayhawks within three. Two free throws by Johnson with 14.8 seconds made it a two-possession game and the Knights closed it out.

UCF shot 42.3 percent from the field, including 7 of 20 from 3-point range.

Kansas made 51.1 percent of its shots but connected on just 7 of 22 (31.8) in the second half. The Jayhawks were 6 of 18 from behind the arc.

UCF trailed by seven early in the second half before breaking out on a 20-6 surge.

A basket by Sellers with 13:14 left gave the Knights a 45-44 edge for their first lead since the opening minutes. Johnson followed with a 3-pointer to make it a four-point margin.

A short time later, Marchelus Avery’s basket gave UFC a 52-45 lead with 10:10 to play.

The Jayhawks answered with eight straight points and took a one-point edge on Johnny Furphy’s basket with 6:39 remaining.

Johnson connected from 3-point range to put the Knights back ahead and Omar Payne added a dunk to give UFC a 57-53 lead with 5:36 left.

McCullar answered with a 3-pointer for Kansas and Harris later split two free throws to tie at it 57 with 3:23 remaining.

Kansas made 17 of 25 field-goal attempts (68 percent) in the first half while holding a 37-29 lead at the break.

Kansas held a game-best 35-19 lead on a basket by Dajuan Harris with 3:45 remaining in the first half. But the Knights responded with the next 10 while trimming their deficit and setting the tone for a strong second half.

–Field Level Media

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