Kansas men’s basketball, which has won 17 consecutive games dating back to the 2021-22 NCAA title campaign, will play for another championship — at the Battle 4 Atlantis — on Friday.
Bobby Pettiford put in an improbable offensive rebound for a basket to beat the overtime buzzer as the Jayhawks (6-0) followed their first-round victory over North Carolina State with a 69-68 overtime win over Wisconsin on Thursday in the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.
Zach Clemence missed a three on KU’s final possession of OT with KU down one and four seconds to play. The ball missed but was tipped from Jalen Wilson to Pettiford, who banked in a short reverse layup for the improbable win.
Wilson scored 29 points and Kevin McCullar added 18 for KU. McCullar hit a three to force overtime with 12 seconds left in regulation.
The Jayhawks survived a game in which they led by as many as 15 points in the second half, only to see Wisconsin tie the score with around 8 minutes to play.
Gradey Dick hit three three-pointers for KU, which has reached the title game in its second appearance in the tourney. In 2013, KU lost in the semifinals of the event to Villanova.
Tyler Wahl scored 23 points for Wisconsin (4-1), which had defeated Dayton in the first round. Wisconsin won this tournament in 2014 and was runner-up in 2018.
KU has a 29-7 record in in-season tournaments with 10 tournament titles in the 20-year Bill Self era. KU won six straight in-season tournaments from 2014 to 2019.
Kansas, which opened the game 2-of-16 from the field, went on an 8-1 run to open a 20-12 lead at 7:37. In that run, McCullar had a dunk, Wilson made a three, McCullar added a three and Adams scored an inside bucket. It took McCullar a while to heat up, as he opened the game 0-for-5 shooting and 0-for-4 from three.
By halftime the Jayhawks had made just 12 of 32 shots (37.5%) but led 33-20.