POLITICS

Bench-clearing brawl erupts at end of Kansas-Kansas State basketball game

Bench-clearing brawl erupts at end of Kansas-Kansas State basketball game

A basketball game between the University of Kansas and Kansas State University ended in a bench-clearing brawl Tuesday night.

The fight between the in-state rivals appeared to erupt after a Kansas player blocked a shot by a Kansas State player, sending the player to the floor, at the end of Kansas’ 81-60 win at home in Lawrence, according to ESPN video of the incident.

Punches were thrown, and officials tried to separate players on the court at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa threw a punch and picked up a stool during the chaos, NBC Sports reported, but it was difficult to ascertain other actions because of the number of people crowding the court.

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Kansas assistant coach Jerrance Howard grabbed the stool from behind after De Sousa picked it up over his head, The Associated Press reported.

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“Obviously, there was a role that was played by our players,” Kansas coach Bill Self said, according to video from a postgame press conference shown by ESPN. He said he would have to watch video of the brawl to know the extent of his team’s role.

“But I know that we were in the wrong. I’m not saying that both parties weren’t in the wrong, but I know that we were in the wrong,” Self said.

Self, who called the fight an “embarrassment,” said he was shaking the opposing coach’s hand when the brawl erupted and did not see what happened until people rushed onto the court.

“There will be consequences that I’m sure I’ll announce tomorrow,” he said.

Silvio De Sousa of the University of Kansas Jayhawks (No. 22) and James Love III of the Kansas State University Wildcats exchange blows during a brawl after the teams’ game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, on Tuesday.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

The Jayhawks were dribbling out the clock when De Sousa was stripped of the ball by Kansas State’s DaJuan Gordon near midcourt. Gordon tried to go for a layup, but De Sousa recovered to block the shot and send Gordon sprawling. He then stood over Gordon and barked at him.

“It should have been avoided,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “It’s my guys. It’s my fault.”

“They came here wanting to have a game, compete, and we didn’t compete the way we needed to,” Weber said, according to the AP. He suggested that “probably a little frustration” was to blame, especially among “the young guys.”

No. 3 Kansas improved to 15-3 overall and 5-1 in the Big 12 Conference. Kansas State fell to 8-10 (1-5). The teams will meet again at the end of February.

Image: Phil helselPhil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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