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 remaining 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.