Travis Releford drained a momentum-building three-pointer right before halftime, extending KU’s lead to 35-31.
Iowa State made just four of 15 three-pointers in the first half.
Sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe hit a crafty layup with 12:26 left, capping a 7-0 run and pushing KU’s lead to 16 points for the first time.
KU advanced to its 10th Big 12 tourney title game.
Young expected to return
Kansas coach Bill Self said Kevin Young should be available for Saturday night’s Big 12 Tournament championship game after Young suffered a lower-leg injury during Friday night’s victory over Iowa State.
Young, who played just 10 minutes, suffered the injury midway through the first half. He returned for the second half before re-aggravating the injury, which Young said was right above his right ankle.
“I’m fine,” Young said after the game. “I’m able to run now I could have gone back in there.”
Young headed to the locker room for X-rays, which turned out negative, during the second half. He then returned and played the role of fan as freshman Perry Ellis finished with a career-high 23 points.
“I loved it,” Young said of Ellis’ performance. “Being on the bench, I felt like a spectator, and it was just amazing to see him actually come out and have a breakout game. And we’ve all been waiting for this.”
• During Self’s first-half tirade at the officials, KU assistants Norm Roberts and Kurtis Townsend stepped up to hold back their boss. They got some help from KU freshman walk-on Tyler Self, who said he hadn’t seen his dad that worked up in a while.
“Towards the end of the rant,” Tyler Self said, “I tried to step in front of him and in between the ref. I think he had everything under control. Just precautionary.”
• Kansas improved to 34-8 all-time in the Big 12 Tournament and advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2011, when Self won his fifth Big 12 tourney title. The Jayhawks also beat Kansas State in the 2010 final.
• Self’s victory was his 20th in the Big 12 tourney, tying him with Texas coach Rick Barnes for the most all-time.
• KU’s bench scored 37 points on Friday, just a day after scoring 39 points in Thursday’s victory over Texas Tech. Those are the two highest bench totals of the season.