NCAA Tournament

KU season ends with another NCAA thud even as Jayhawks avoid their worst tourney loss

Dedric Lawson breaks down, blames himself after KU’s loss to Auburn

Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson breaks down, blames himself after KU's 89-75 loss to Auburn on March 23, 2019.
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Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson breaks down, blames himself after KU's 89-75 loss to Auburn on March 23, 2019.

When the end has come for the Kansas over the past few NCAA Tournaments, the Jayhawks have left no doubt about the outcome.

Saturday’s 89-75 loss to Auburn was among the most lopsided in the storied program’s NCAA Tournament history.

The halftime deficit of 26 points, 51-25, was the largest in Kansas’ 155 NCAA Tournament games.

Four of KU’s worst 10 NCAA losses have occurred since 2015. That year, the Jayhawks fell to Wichita State in the second round by 13. Kansas lost the 2017 Midwest Regional final to Oregon by 14, and by 16 to Villanova in last year’s Final Four.

In that game, Villanova shooters went crazy from beyond the arc, hitting 18 of 40 three-pointers. That set a record for three-pointers in a Final Four game.

Kansas Jayhawks guard Devon Dotson on KU's three-point and transition defense in an 89-75 loss to Auburn in the NCAA Tournament round of 32 on March 23, 2019.

Auburn went the same route Saturday. The Tigers sank nine three-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 for the game.

The Jayhawks’ worst NCAA Tournament loss was in their first year in the tourney, by 18 points to Indiana in the 1940 NCAA championship, the second year of the title game.

Auburn’s victory sends the program to its first Sweet 16 since 2003 and in Kansas’ backyard, Kansas City. The Tigers will meet the North Carolina-Washington winner on Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals at the Sprint Center.

Kansas’ worst NCAA Tournament losses

18 points

Indiana 60, Kansas 42, 1940 NCAA championship


UCLA 78, Kansas 61, 1974 third-place game


(1 seed) Illinois 80, (4) Kansas 64, 2001 Sweet 16

(1) Villanova 95, (1) Kansas 79, 2018 Final Four


(3) Oregon 74, (1) Kansas 60, 2017 Elite Eight

(5) Auburn 89, (4) Kansas 75, 2019 second round


Marquette 64, Kansas 51, 1974 Final Four

(1) Georgetown 70, (5) Kansas 57, 1987 Sweet 16

(2) UCLA 68, (1) Kansas 55, 2007 Elite Eight

(7) Wichita State 78, (2) Kansas 65, 2015 second round

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