KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Marcus and Markieff Morris personally outscored Colorado 17-4 during one stretch of the first half, pulling No. 2 Kansas out of a deep early deficit and leading the second-ranked Jayhawks past Colorado 90-83 Friday night in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.
Marcus, the younger of the Philadelphia twins by 7 minutes, totaled 20 points and 13 rebounds while Markieff had 20 points and eight boards for the top-seeded Jayhawks (31-2), who sent the Buffaloes off to the Pac-10 by beating them for the 45th time in 46 meetings.
Colorado (21-13) is switching conferences next season but appears to have a good chance at an NCAA tournament bid, which would be its first postseason appearance since 2005.
Alec Burks had 23 points for Colorado, giving him 76 in three tournament games as the Buffs reached the semifinals for the first time in the event's 15-year history.
Tyrel Reed had 15 points for Kansas, including two big 3-pointers that helped blunt Colorado's comeback.
Kansas, trailing by 12 early in the first half, took a 43-37 lead into halftime and then roared away on a 16-5 run to start the second, seizing a 62-44 lead.
Colorado, playing its school-record 34th game, cut the lead to 82-74 with 1:32 left on a bucket by Burks. After Marcus Morris and Tyshawn Taylor sank two foul shots apiece, Burks drove in for a layup and converted a three-point play, cutting the lead to 86-80 with 37 seconds left.
But the Jayhawks, aiming to nail down a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs, were 8 for 8 from the foul line in the final minutes and held a 41-26 rebounding edge.
Levi Knutson, with his fifth 3-pointer, made it 84-77 before Taylor hit a pair of foul shots.
For the first 9½ minutes, the fifth-seeded Buffaloes were nearly flawless, hitting eight of their first 11 shots and not committing a single turnover until Austin Dufault's foul at the 10:27 mark. Nate Tomlinson got the game started with a 3-pointer and Marcus Relphorde canned another 3 for an 11-2 Colorado lead.
Burks, who had 53 points in the first two games of the tournament, worked in for a dunk and then drilled a 10-footer to cap a 9-0 run that put the Buffaloes up 22-10.
That's when the Morris brothers took over the game. Marcus got nine points in the 17-4 surge and Markieff put in eight, including a long 3-pointer that gave Kansas a 27-26 lead and brought a thunderous roar from the partisan crowd.
Shannon Sharpe's bucket put Colorado back on top 34-31. Then Mario Little, as he's done so many times this season, came off the bench and sparked the Jayhawks. His 3-pointer made it 36-32 with 2:25 left.
The Buffaloes, playing their third tough game in three days, took a 22-10 lead when Burks dunked and then nailed a 10-footer, finishing a 9-0 run.
But lacking the bench strength of the deep and talented Jayhawks who were playing just their second straight game, Colorado appeared to tire as the Morris twins led a 16-5 run starting the second half that put Kansas on top 59-42.
Knutson scored 17 points for Colorado while Andre Roberson, Tomlinson and Relphorde all had nine.