Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - Tekele Cotton scored 19 points to lead five Wichita State players in double figures as the Shockers posted a 78-65 win over the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Fred VanVleet totaled 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals for the seventh-seeded Shockers (30-4), who advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years. They will face Notre Dame in the Midwest Region semifinals.
Evan Wessel provided a spark for the Shockers in the Sunflower State showdown, scoring 12 points on four 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds. Ron Baker also had 12 points and Darius Carter added 10.
"To me this is probably one of the biggest wins I've been involved with being a Shocker, just because we don't get the opportunity to play KU, and we're going to the Sweet 16," Baker said.
Perry Ellis and Devonte' Graham contributed 17 points apiece for second-seeded Kansas (27-9), which was held to 35.1 percent shooting in the first meeting between the schools since Jan. 6, 1993.
Wichita State settled down following a slow start and reeled off a 38-16 run spanning halftime.
"We calmed down about midway through the first half and stopped taking bad shots and started to execute some offense," said Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall.
The Shockers took a 29-26 lead into the break on a VanVleet 3 with 54 seconds left and started the second half 5-of-8 from the field to go up 11.
Wessel's third 3 of the half gave the Shockers a 54-40 lead with 11:49 remaining and completed the game-changing surge.
"I just got to give credit to the my teammates; they were able to attack, find me, give me shots," said Wessel.
Kansas got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
"They were far superior than us in the second half," said Kansas coach Bill Self. "They took us out of most everything that we wanted to do, and we didn't help ourselves by not defending in the second half."
Frank Mason III scored nine points early to help the Jayhawks build a 17-12 lead. Two Graham free throws made it 24-16 with 5:08 remaining.
Kansas was making its 26th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, the longest active streak in the nation ... The only prior meeting between the schools in the NCAA Tournament occurred in 1981. Wichita State won on a last- second shot to advance to the Elite Eight ... The Shockers had lost five straight in the series ... Kansas has won 12 of the 15 meetings ... Cotton played in his 140th game for Wichita State, tying Demetric Williams (2009-13) for the most in school history.