Seconds before the final buzzer sounded in Tuesday evening’s college basketball clash between Kansas and Kansas State, a bench clearing brawl ensued involving players from both teams throwing punches.
ESPN reports that the kerfuffle popped off as KU’s Silvio De Sousa was dribbling out the clock, with the Jayhawks holding a 22 point lead. K-State’s DaJuan Gordon stripped De Sousa, who was able to recover and block Gordon’s layup attempt, knocking Gordon to the floor and standing over him in what ESPN described as “a taunting fashion.”
That’s when all hell broke loose.
An all-out brawl just happened. pic.twitter.com/73MBmr0RNf— Riley Gates (@Riley_Gates) January 22, 2020
Video of the scene shows K-State players rushing to confront De Sousa, and multiple players who were on the bench for both teams scrambled onto the floor shortly thereafter. The scene spilled into a fan seating section, and at one point, De Sousa raised a stool over his head before having it snatched away by an assistant coach.
Benches emptied at the end of the Kansas State-Kansas game. pic.twitter.com/zWv46h3RJC— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
The brawl took several minutes to dissipate, and police officers and coaches jumped in to try to help break it up.
Adding to the awkward finish, both teams were called back to the court by officials, who put one-tenth of a second back onto the clock and allowed K-State to shoot technical free throws. Only five players from each team returned to the court, as every other player, including those in street clothes, was ejected.
The game ended in an 81-60 Jayhawk victory.
After the fracas, both coaches expressed regret.
“It should have been avoided,” K-State’s Bruce Webber said. “It’s my guys — it’s my fault. They came here wanting to have a game, compete, and didn’t compete the way we needed to, and probably a little frustration, especially the young guys.”
“It’s not something to be proud of,” KU’s Bill Self said. “What happened showed zero signs of toughness. It’s a sign of immaturity and selfishness moreso than toughness.”
Webber had reportedly instructed his team to “back off” in the game’s final seconds. Self said that although he didn’t agree with Gordon’s steal and layup attempt, he acknowledged that it was “fair game.”
“What transpired after that is what set everything off,” Self said.
In a statement released after the game, KU athletic director Jeff Long said that he would work to determine appropriate consequences for those involved in the incident.
“Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine appropriate consequences,” Long’s statement read. “There is no place for this conduct in college athletes or here at KU.”