It was quite the scene Tuesday night in Lawrence, Kansas at the Allen Fieldhouse. A scene that was viewed as an absolute mess and an embarrassment, especially in world of college basketball and Kansas sports…
The in-state rivalry college basketball match-up, also known as the “Sunflower Showdown,” between the Kansas State Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks ended with a bench-clearing brawl with multiple punches being thrown. Silvio De Sousa of Kansas was the one who grabbed the attention of everyone though by picking up a stool in the disabled court area seating, only to lift the stool above his head. He almost used the stool as a weapon…It could have been another Myles Garrett situation…Fortunately, De Sousa was restrained by one of his assistant coaches before he was able to do damage with the stool above his head.
Let’s look at how this all unfolded:
1. DaJuan Gordon (K-State) Steals the Basketball from Silvio De Sousa (KU)
The score was 81-59 in the favor of Kansas with less than 10 seconds remaining. The game appeared as if it was going to be over as De Sousa dribbled past half court with the basketball. However, with about 5 seconds left to go in a game with a meaningless outcome, Gordon stole the ball from De Sousa and dribbled his way towards K-State’s hoop.
2. Silvio De Sousa Blocks Gordon’s Layup
After the steal, De Sousa chased Gordon from behind when Gordon was on route make the final basket in the game. De Sousa didn’t let Gordon off easy with a meaningless layup, as De Sousa swatted the basketball from behind at the baseline. The block by De Sousa wasn’t just a regular blocked shot. It had some massive juice on it too!
3. De Sousa Stands over Gordon and is Assessed a Technical Foul for Taunting
After De Sousa blocked Gordon’s shot, Gordon was down on the court underneath his team’s basket. De Sousa however did not walk away, as he hovered over Gordon and taunted him, which drew a technical.
4. Bench Clearing Brawl Starts
Players from Kansas and Kansas State started sprinting towards the scene. Both coaches, Bruce Weber (K-State) and Bill Self (KU) were at half court shaking hands when the chaos ensued. What is terrible is that the brawl took place at the worst possible location on the court. The players fought behind the basketball hoop in the disabled seating area…
5. Punches were Thrown
Multiple punches were thrown with the camera footage focusing mainly on De Sousa and K-State’s James Love, who happened to be in street clothes and not in uniform.
6. De Sousa Lifts Up a Stool
De Sousa then picked up a stool and lifted it over his head. Kansas assistant coach Jerrance Howard grabbed the stool from De Sosa before any damage was done. The situation could have been a WHOLE lot worse if De Sousa had gone Myles Garrett 2.0 or full WWE style.
Following the brawl, Kansas Jayhawks athletic director Jeff Long issued a statement:
“The conduct of a few of our student-athletes at the conclusion of tonight's game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are. Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine appropriate consequences. There is no place for this conduct in college athletics or here at KU. I would like to apologize to the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State University, Gene Taylor, Bruce Weber and all fans for the lack of sportsmanship from members of our team this evening.”
On Wednesday night, the Big 12 Conference suspended four players for their roles in the brawl that broke out. Silvio De Sousa, who already was suspended indefinitely by Kansas coach Bill Self on Wednesday afternoon, received a 12-game suspension by the league office. His teammate, David McCormack, received a two-game suspension, while James Love of Kansas State received an eight-game suspension and teammate Antonio Gordon got a three-game suspension.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated on the incident, “This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last night's events. I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”
De Sousa won’t be eligible until the Jayhawks last game of the regular season on Saturday, March 7th at Texas Tech. The three other players that received suspensions (McCormack for KU and Love and Gordon both for K-State) will be eligible for the next meeting between the two in-state rivals, which is set for Saturday, February 29th at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Both programs will look to put the past behind them. Number 3 ranked Kansas (15-3/5-1 Big 12) will host Tennessee at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. Kansas State (8-10/1-5 Big 12) will travel to take on Alabama on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.