Although Kansas State fans are likely still reeling from last night’s shocking home football loss to North Dakota State, they can at least smile a little bit this morning at their shiny, new Big 12 Championship rings from last season’s improbable co-title run.
Under first-year coach Bruce Weber, the Wildcats finished 14-4 in the Big 12 and tied with in-state rival Kansas for the best mark in the conference and a share of the title. The Kansas State athletics Twitter account unveiled the rings earlier this week:
While the Wildcats aren’t expected to compete for the Big 12 title this season with the loss of seniors Rodney McGruder and Jordan Henriquez — and the loss of transfer Angel Rodriguez — they do return key role players Will Spradling, Thomas Gipson and Shane Southwell.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.