KU dug themselves a pretty big hole by turning the ball over about a dozen times in the first half. I think they were down by 9 late in the first half, despite shooting 60-70 percent from the field from lots of dunks and layups. Once they stopped turning the ball over, they were able to eventually wear them down. EKU also shot the 3 pretty well, almost 40%, which helped keep them in the game.
I'm not sure how much the team has changed for the worse without Embid. I actually haven't watched many of their games. But I do know that after Embid went out, they finished the year with a couple losses . If KU does make it to the second week and Embid is able to come back, will he be back at 100%? They don't seem to be quite the same team without him, even though Black has played pretty well down the stretch as a replacement.