KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Texas Techs Dejan Kravic put back a missed 3-pointer just as time was expiring to lift the Red Raiders to a 71-69 win Wednesday over West Virginia at the Big 12 mens basketball tournament.Tech (11-19) advanced to play No. 7 Kansas at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Sprint Center.You always see that on TV but you never expect it to happen to you, so that was a crazy feeling, said Kravic, a junior from London, Ontario, who seemed unusually calm after sinking a buzzer-beater. I let out all my emotions in the locker room.Kravics game-winner came after a desperation 3-point attempt from the corner by Techs Jamal Williams. It was short and came right to Kravic, who was alone on the left side of the basket for the rebound and putback. WVUs long-distance heave had no chance as the final second ticked off.Kravic gave the Raiders a 69-68 lead with 1:02 remaining. Kravic was fouled on the play but missed the free throw that would have given Tech a two-point lead. Deniz Kilicli tied it at 69-69 with 20 seconds remaining by hitting the first of two free throws.In the tournaments opening game, Tech came out fast and built leads of 7-0, 9-2 and 16-4 before the Mountaineers (13-19) found their footing. WVU finished the first half on a 12-5 run to trail Tech 37-32 at halftime.Still, Tech maintained its lead through the first 28 minutes and led 50-43 after a Jaye Crockett 3-pointer with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game. Tech made 8 of 12 3-pointers in the game, including a season-high 3-of-4 from Ty Nurse, who helped the Red Raiders get out to a quick start.Terry Henderson single-handedly got the Mountaineers back in the game after they trailed 50-43, scoring seven consecutive points to tie it at 50-50 with 11:49 to go. Aaric Murray connected on consecutive shots to give WVU its first lead of the game with 8:29 remaining.The final eight minutes were back-and-forth until Kravics game-winner. Crockett led the Raiders with 18 points. Fort Worth All Saints alum Jordan Tolbert, who fouled out with 2:26 remaining, had 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Henderson led WVU with 12 points.Tech twice lost big to Kansas during the regular season, including in the last meeting March 4, 79-42, in Lawrence, Kan.I would rather be lucky than good, Texas Tech coach Chris Walker said. Again, it comes down to playing everything out.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs