LAWRENCE — The Big 12 once again runs through Kansas.


Call this particular trophy a parting gift from Udoka Azubuike.


Azubuike, the Jayhawks’ fourth-year frontcourt force, scored 31 points on 13-for-14 shooting, hauled in 14 rebounds and blocked five shots in his team’s 75-66 victory over TCU on Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse. The senior night performance may have solidified a Big 12 player of the year bid for Azubuike who, after three injury-ravaged campaigns, returned slimmer but better than ever for his collegiate swan song season.


"It’s a good day," Azubuike said, "to be a Jayhawk."


With the victory, KU captured at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season championship, with an opportunity to win it outright with a win in a 1 p.m. Saturday tilt against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. The Jayhawks last season saw their national-record-breaking streak of 14 straight conference titles snapped by the Red Raiders and rival Kansas State, who were co-champions.


"Of all the teams that we’ve had win a Big 12 championship," said Bill Self in a postgame address to the crowd, "I can honestly say I’m more proud of this one than anyone we’ve ever had here."


Azubuike’s 31 points were the most by a Jayhawk in a home finale since Danny Manning posted that same number in his last contest at Allen Fieldhouse, a 75-57 victory over Oklahoma State on March 5, 1988.


"He’s a warrior," KU point guard Devon Dotson said of Azubuike. "Senior night, went out with a bang. Special moment for him, all he’s been through. I was just happy to see it and be on the court with him winning the title. Great night."


KU (27-3, 16-1 Big 12) trailed by just two at halftime despite the visitors’ staggering 9-for-15 clip from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.


TCU’s Edric Dennis went 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and scored 15 points in the first period, while teammate Desmond Bane was 4 of 5 from deep with 14 points ahead of the intermission. The desperate Horned Frogs (16-14, 7-10) trailed by seven just six minutes into the game but roared back, with Bane’s fourth trey at the 22-second mark delivering his team a 37-35 lead at the break.


Azubuike, who suffered a sprained right ankle last Saturday against K-State and was questionable for Wednesday’s home finale, looked spry from the opening tip — the 7-foot senior center scored the Jayhawks’ first 10 points and by halftime had 18 points on 9-for-10 shooting. His teammates went a combined 6 for 18, however, also failing to defend the 3-point line.


"I knew (Azubuike) would probably play pretty well because at shootaround I said, ‘Hey Doke, just get loose. Don’t make it sore,’ " Self said. "He said, ‘No, I’m practicing.’ So I knew that he felt pretty good. He had a little adrenaline in him today and that was without question the most aggressive I can remember him to start a game. I thought he was great."


The Horned Frogs remained in front for the first chunk of the second half until Azubuike — who else? — kick-started the game-defining rally. The Delta, Nigeria, native’s dunk represented the first points in what became a 15-1 run, but this time, Azubuike’s teammates did most of the heavy lifting — Garrett notched back-to-back layups, Christian Braun hit a floater, Dotson hit a 3 and a pair of free throws and Braun converted a second-chance layup to cap the stretch and deliver a 58-47 lead for the Jayhawks with 10:32 left.


Bane, whose free-throw make represented TCU’s lone point of resistance in KU’s lopsided run, converted an and-1 layup to stop the bleeding and end what was a four-plus-minute scoring drought for the Horned Frogs. But by then, Allen Fieldhouse was sufficiently juiced — Azubuike’s put-back layup with 9:19 left initiated a personal stretch of five straight points for the "Big Fella," a rally that delivered a 12-point lead and, for all intents and purposes, the league crown.


Dotson finished with 18 points to round out the double-figure scorers for the Jayhaawks, who finished 15-1 at Allen Fieldhouse. Another noteworthy streak was actually extended Wednesday, with KU winning its 37th consecutive home finale.


Bane finished with 24 points and Dennis had 18 for TCU, which scored a 75-72 upset home victory over then-No. 2 Baylor on Saturday. That outcome set the table for KU to clinch the league title Wednesday, with Baylor now needing a victory in its regular season finale — a noon Saturday clash at West Virginia — to have any shot at a share.


Reminded of Self’s remark to the crowd that he’s prouder of this team than any other Big 12 champion he’s coached at KU, Azubuike theorized that pride stems from the team’s resiliency through adversity, both on and off the court.


"We’ve got a fighting spirit in us," Azubuike said. "We just had to fight dealing with a team like Baylor. Ever since I’ve been at Kansas, if you lose three games you still win a Big 12 championship. But we had to deal with a good Baylor team that’s really good. … Being good on the road, going out there and fighting every night, I mean, we’ve just got a fighting spirit and I think that’s what Coach was talking about and that’s what he’s proud of."


Self confirmed Azubuike’s hunch.


"I think that we’ve dealt with some stuff that’s been pretty well-known publicly with basically very little fault to the guys," Self said. "Obviously Silvio (De Sousa) made a bad, bad error, huge error in judgment the one time, but other than that the guys have handled the distractions as if they’re even not distractions, and you know that can be taxing on a team mentally.


"But I think they’ve been great. I think they’ve acted maturely. And I meant what I said. Of all the teams that it’s been hard to win the league, this has been as hard as it has been to win the league, especially when you’re looking up at a team like Baylor the vast majority of it."


The Jayhawks didn’t wait long after Wednesday’s game to get the party started, with athletic director Jeff Long delivered the Big 12 trophy to Bill Self and KU players after Wednesday’s final buzzer. Following that ceremony, Azubuike and fellow senior Isaiah Moss delivered their farewell speeches, with the former capping his 13-minute address with a look to the future.


Let’s just say Lubbock isn’t the only city in the 7-footer’s crosshairs.


"Let’s go to Atlanta," said Azubuike, referring to the site of this year’s Final Four. "Rock Chalk."