Dexter Pittman dominated inside for a second straight game, finishing with 19 points and a career-high 20 rebounds as Texas beat Kansas State 61-58 on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Conference tournament.
Pittman's three-point play with 1:14 left put Texas ahead for good at 60-58, and in the final seconds, he grabbed a critical rebound after a Kansas State miss, then hit 1-of-2 free throws with 12.1 seconds left to make it 61-58.
Denis Clemente missed a deep 3-point attempt on Kansas State's final possession and Gary Johnson rebounded for the Longhorns.
Texas (22-10) avenged a regular-season defeat at the hands of Kansas State (21-11) and solidified its NCAA tournament status, while the Wildcats -- one of a handful of bubble teams from the Big 12 -- must wait until Sunday to find out if they'll be in the NCAA tournament or receive a National Invitation Tournament berth.
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Jacob Pullen led Kansas State with 21 points. The Wildcats struggled with their shooting, finishing 19 of 65 for 29.2 percent. Texas blocked 10 of those shots, including four by Pittman.
The 6-foot-10, 298-pound Pittman recorded only the fourth 20-rebound game in Big 12 tournament history but the second in two days, as Kevin Rogers of Baylor grabbed 20 in a first-round win over Nebraska.
Baylor, which stunned No. 11 Kansas earlier Thursday, will play Texas in the semifinals on Friday.
The performance of Pittman, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds in a first-round win over Colorado, helped Texas overcome a subpar scoring outing by the Longhorns' two leading scorers. A.J. Abrams had six points, 10 below his average, although he did hit a key 3-pointer to tie the game with 2:06 left, and Damion James fouled out with 3:02 left with seven points, nine below his average.
Texas committed 22 turnovers but led for much of the second half before the Wildcats seized the lead at 55-54 when Clemente, who went 4 of 20 from the field, banked in a runner with 3:38 left. That proved to be Kansas State's final field goal.
Ron Anderson hit two free throws with 2:16 left to put the Wildcats up 57-54 before Abrams' 3-pointer. Anderson went 1-of-2 from the line with 1:39 left to make it 58-57 before Pittman gave the Longhorns the lead at the 1:14 mark.
Besides Pittman, no Texas player scored in double figures, although Varez Ward and Clint Chapman had nine each. Jamar Samuels scored 11 points and Clemente had 10 for Kansas State.