Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki, facing the team that traded him during the offseason, had a two-run single in the third inning. Second baseman Christian Colon was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Both Tennessee and Missouri are perceived to be on the NCAA tournament bubble, raising the stakes in this regular-season finale for both teams. Missouri had beaten Tennessee 75-70 on Feb. 15 in Columbia, but Saturday's rematch bore no resemblance to that game.
One would think Kansas State's credentials for a tourney bid are solid: A fifth-place finish in the Big 12, 20 wins overall, seven wins over top 50 teams in the RPI. But after another distressing loss to Baylor -- the second in three weeks -- there may just be a shadow of doubt.
The Shockers, who last won the conference tourney in 1987, took control with a 17-0 run in the first half and topped it with 24 straight points in the second, scoring at will while Missouri State endured droughts totaling more than 15 minutes.
Perry Ellis added 14 points for Kansas (23-8, 14-4), which clinched its 10th straight regular-season title a week ago and had little riding on this game. The Jayhawks will have a first-round bye in the conference tournament that begins Wednesday in Kansas City.
Shockers handle their business and get set for Missouri State while Southern Illinois pulls off an upset to earn a date with Indiana State. Watch both semifinal matchups live Saturday only on FOX Sports Kansas City.
Creighton used to own the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. From championships to fans to blue margaritas, the Blue Jays did it big in St. Louis. But now they are gone -- and it's hard not to notice.