by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Just hours after being voted the No. 1 team in the country, Kansas got pummeled by Jacob Pullen and Kansas State, falling 84-68.

Pullen was nearly unstoppable from the opening tip, scoring 23 of his career-high 38 points in the first half. In what was a much-needed victory to get Kansas State headed back in the right direction after a tailspin over the past few months, Pullen took charge behind the home crowd.

Outside of Pullen, the Wildcat frontcourt did its part to ensure the victory. Against the frontline of the Morris twins, Kansas State managed to win the rebounding edge 25-21. Meanwhile, it held Markieff Morris, the Jayhawks’ second leading scorer, to just 3 points.

But while there were other contributions made on Monday night, Pullen’s performance was the talk after the game.

From TheTopeka Capital-Journal:

All season, people have been waiting for Pullen to do what he did Monday, to put a flawed team on his back and make it great.

That task has seemed overwhelming at times, but not Monday. Pullen scored a career-high 38 points — the most ever scored in a win against a No. 1 team — and went for 23 in a magnificent first half. He shot 9-for-17 from the field, 5-for-6 from 3-point range and 15-for-19 from the foul line.

“It was one of those nights when the ball went in for me,” Pullen said.

As for the losers in Monday’s in-state battle, Kansas walks away from the defeat having put up a brutal performance in its first chance to justify its No. 1 ranking. Meanwhile, Texas is now in the driver’s seat to both win the Big 12 and possibly seize the top ranking on Monday.