Sure, he only scored 9 points to Cruz's 11, but he was still named MVP after the final buzzer, and that's probably because he dunked on on Cruz verbally throughout the painfully long game inside the stadium at Texas Southern University.
As you probably expected, Kimmel dished out expert trash talk -- a department Cruz floundered in.
"You vote for Hillary or Bernie?" Cruz asked his opponent at one point, and when Kimmel answered Hillary, the Republican politician added, "How'd that work out?"
"Nothing has ever worked out worse than that worked out," Kimmel said. "But I'm glad to see you have forgiven Donald Trump for horrible things he said about your family, your father. I commend Ted on putting business first and his balls on a shelf some where."
Kimmel stressed in his monologue that the game "went on forever," and took a few shots at his opponent before showing his audience an abridged version of the game (which still clocked in at about 15 minutes).
"The game was very rough, and there were nothing but fouls the whole game long. I have bruises all over my body, he kept poking me with his hooves," Kimmel joked. "The game went on so long, that by the time it was over Jay-Z and Beyonce had written and produced an entire new album."
If you don't want to watch the entire showdown, enjoy the best shots Kimmel took at Cruz when he wasn't too winded from the actual gameplay.
At the coin toss:
"Hold on, let me look at that coin. It's got a head and a tail, just like you senator, here ya go."
At the start of the game:
“Did you spend more time this week practicing basketball than trying to get those kids out of that detention center?”
When they shortened the game because it was taking too long:
"The ref is having mercy on us right now. See, this is a good lesson for you and those kids in that detention center."
"What about all the kids Obama detained?" Cruz shot back, but Kimmel still found a way to put the ball in his opponent's court.
"If there were any, you should have done something about that, too."
Cruz's one good joke:
"I'll tell you what Jimmy. I'll give you that shot right there. If you miss it, ABC has to put 'Roseanne' back on the air."
But what about Obama?
"You're a professional comedian. In eight years, did you ever tell a joke about Obama?" Cruz asked Kimmel.
"Yes, lot's of them," Kimmel said matter of factly. "I even roasted him to his face at the correspondents dinner."
Is that booing?
After the crown erupted over Cruz bringing Obama into the game, Kimmel reassured, "Just so you know, they're not booing, they're saying, 'True!' -- Oh wait, no, they're booing."
When Cruz was grabbing at Kimmel to try to get the ball:
"What's going on here? Did you learn this grabbiness from Trump?" Kimmel asked as he backed his body into the senator. "I appreciate it, but if you keep touching me like this, no one is going to make you a wedding cake."
Kimmel gets serious about health insurance:
"Ted, because I know we both need a breather, let me ask you a question: Why when most of the Republicans in the senate support coverage for pre-existing conditions don't you?” Kimmel asked.
It elicited a long, stock answer from Cruz, who ripped into the failures of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) to keep premiums low, arguing the average family saw their premiums skyrocket by $5,000.
"That's just not true," Kimmel said, to which Cruz argued, "It is true. Those are facts. Facts matter.
Kimmel took full advantage of that set up to alley-oop it back into his opponent's face. "Facts don't matter to your president, by the way," Kimmel said.
"They don't matter in late-night comedy either," Cruz fired back.
Kimmel's answer: "It's called comedy, not the White House."
"You're a good sport," Kimmel told the victor. "I still think you're a terrible senator. Thanks for the game."
Then Kimmel noticed Cruz's daughters standing nearby, prompting this final zinger: "Kids, you got to see your daddy win something."