Dayton Flyers shock No. 4-ranked Kansas Jayhawks on bouncing buzzer-beater

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Kansas’ streak of winning in-season men’s basketball tournaments has been halted at six.

The Dayton Flyers of the Atlantic 10 Conference pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season on Friday, overcoming a 15-point first-half deficit to defeat No. 4-ranked Kansas, 74-73 on a last-second bucket, in an ESPN Events Invitational semifinal game at HP Field House.

DaRon Holmes scored 16 points and Elijah Weaver and Toumani Camara added 14 apiece as Dayton, a team with 12 freshmen on its roster — and a team that has dropped home games to UMass-Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin Peay this young season — landed a spot in Sunday’s final against Belmont.

Dayton (3-3) overcame a 73-72 deficit on its final possession that started with 19.6 seconds left after a David McCormack charging call.

McCormack blocked an inside shot of Malachi Smith, then the ball went to Mustapha Amzil, who got the ball on the baseline then drove into the lane, where he shot a 12-foot floater that bounced high off the rim and in for the win.

KU (4-1), meanwhile, which was led by Christian Braun’s 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists, had a complete meltdown in blowing the 15-point lead with 1:43 left in the first half. The Jayhawks, who were outscored 39-17 in one crucial stretch, trailed by seven points with 7:20 left.

Ochai Agbaji had 21 points for KU, which will play Iona in the third place game at noon Sunday on ESPN.

Dayton used a 24-6 run to turn a 44-29 deficit (with 1:43 left in the first half) into a 53-50 lead at 14:47. The Flyers led, 68-61, with seven minutes left.

The Jayhawks’ six straight tournament victories included the 2014 ESPN Events Invitational followed by the 2015 Maui Invitational, the 2016 CBE Classic, the 2017 HoopHall Miami Invitational, the 2018 NIT Season Tip Off and the 2019 Maui Invitational. Last season’s Fort Myers Season-Tip Off event was not in a bracketed format.