LAWRENCE — The lone home-state scholarship player on the Kansas basketball roster, Christian Braun doesn’t need to be reminded of the importance of the Sunflower Showdown.

In his first crack at the rivalry game against Kansas State, the freshman guard showed just that — and then all hell broke loose.

“We should be in here talking about Christian Braun," KU coach Bill Self said in his postgame news conference, "and selfishness definitely created a situation where that’s not going to be the storyline whatsoever.”

Braun was the difference-maker in a decisive early run for the No. 3-ranked Jayhawks in Tuesday night’s game at Allen Fieldhouse, coming off the bench to hit three 3s in the game’s first 10 minutes en route to a comfortable 81-60 victory. The Burlington-born former Blue Valley Northwest standout scored a game-high 20 points in Round 1 of the in-state series, with 11 coming in an early 24-4 run that gave KU (15-3, 5-1 Big 12) a 17-point lead with 10:30 left in the first half.

Despite the lopsided nature of the final score, the game didn't end without controversy.

Attempting to dribble out the clock with three seconds left, KU's Silvio De Sousa had the ball stolen by K-State's DaJuan Gordon, who was blocked by De Sousa on a layup attempt at the buzzer. With Gordon on the ground, De Sousa stood over and looked down at him, and both sides came to blows, with De Sousa throwing punches and even picking up a stool at one point. The benches cleared but the skirmish ended after about 30 seconds, with both teams exiting out opposite tunnels and heading to their respective locker rooms.

But they returned to the floor a few minutes later, and with police officers on the court, K-State's Pierson McAtee converted one of two free-throw tries after a technical to give the game its final score.

K-State head coach Bruce Weber didn't see the brawl but said he told his players, including Gordon, not to press in the final moments.

"It's disappointing it ended that way. Credit to them, they kicked our butt in so many ways," Weber said. "You win with class. You lose with class. It's disappointing anything had to happen at the end. That's all I can say. It's probably my fault. I ... told them to back off. ...

"I told them to back off, but (Gordon's) a competitive guy. I don't want to take that fire out of his belly but you've also got to be smart."

Like Weber, Self said he didn't witness the first few seconds of the brawl, though he knew enough from what unfolded to say KU "obviously" played a role in the skirmish.

“I know that we were in the wrong," Self said. "I’m not saying that both parties weren’t in the wrong, but I know that we were in the wrong. ... That was an embarrassment on our part for the role that we played in it. There will be consequences that I’m sure I’ll announce (Wednesday) for that role as soon as I’m able to study it and come to grips with all of it. ...

“Regardless of how it got started, that’s no way for mature men to act, regardless of the situation.”

Before that ugly moment, Braun was the main story of the game's ho-hum first 39 minutes and 57 seconds.

A former K-State recruiting target — he was offered by the Wildcats but never made an official visit, according to 247Sports — Braun was 4-for-4 from the field, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and notched two steals in the staggering run, which resembled so many of those authored by KU in this facility. With the win, KU moved to 50-18 all-time against the Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse, including the current 14-game winning streak.

Braun, who finished Tuesday’s game 7-for-15 shooting and 6-for-10 from 3-point range with four rebounds, two steals and an assist in 29 minutes, was the Jayhawks’ bell cow in a first half that ended with a 16-point advantage for the home squad.

Braun’s first trey came off a Devon Dotson drive-and-dish on a fastbreak, a corner make that helped ignite the 24-4 run for KU. Braun — who entered at the 16:33 mark for senior guard Isaiah Moss, who replaced sophomore forward David McCormack at 18:05 — celebrated that 3 with a gesture that’s quickly becoming his go-to move: the bow-and-arrow.

Braun’s next 3, converted with 14:39 left, came out of a timeout where Self implored his team to “wake up.” The Udoka Azubuike-assisted make gave KU a 10-7 lead and an advantage it wouldn’t surrender, kick-starting what became a 19-2 rally that, fittingly, Braun closed out with his third trey in three tries. That bucket delivered a 26-9 lead for the 16½-point favorite Jayhawks.

KU held a 16-point lead, 39-23, at intermission, and by that point, Braun had done enough to earn the second-half start in place of McCormack. He immediately rewarded Self’s decision — Braun threw in a trey from the top of the key on the Jayhawks’ first possession of the second half, starting up a 8-0 run that put Weber’s Wildcats (8-10, 1-5) in an all but insurmountable 24-point hole.

Braun’s sixth and final trey gave KU a 69-45 advantage with 5:35 left. After playing just four minutes in last Saturday’s 66-57 victory at Texas, Braun on Tuesday notched just his second double-figure scoring output of the season and first since Nov. 15 (11 points in a 112-57 victory over Monmouth). Other KU contributors included Dotson (18 points) and Azubuike (10 points, 14 rebounds).

"He was the best player in the game," Self said of Braun. "For his first K-State game, usually going back over time, our kids from Kansas and kids from Kansas that played at Kansas State have taken great pride in this game maybe more so than some out-of-staters do. Both teams are limited in the number of in-staters compared to maybe some other schools because of the proximity to players. But I know it meant a lot to Dean Wade, I know it meant a lot to the Wayne Simiens, and certainly Christian Braun it will as well.

"I thought he was terrific, and the lid came off."

K-State, which actually trimmed its deficit to 13 on a Gordon 3 with 14:05 remaining, was paced by David Sloan (17 points), Xavier Sneed (16) and Makol Mawien (11). A year removed from splitting the Big 12 regular season championship with Texas Tech and ending the Jayhawks’ 14-year streak of consecutive conference titles, the Wildcats were coming off an 84-68 upset of then-No. 12 West Virginia on Saturday in Manhattan.

Neither program made players available to the media in the postgame news conference.

KU and K-State will next take part in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, with the Jayhawks playing host to Tennessee at 3 p.m. Saturday and the Wildcats traveling to take on Alabama at 5 p.m. Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.