Kansas State blew a nine-point lead with under two minutes remaining and it didn’t look like the Wildcats had the momentum entering overtime facing in-state rival Kansas. The No. 7 Jayhawks had a ridiculous rally and Kansas State seemed to be battling injuries for the entire night and it appeared that Kansas was the favorite entering the extra frame.
But battling was the key for the Wildcats, as Kansas State never stopped fighting as they persevered through overtime to knock off the Jayhawks 85-82 in the Octagon of Doom during the Sunflower Showdown. Students rushed the floor in Manhattan as Kansas State was just 3-48 against Kansas since 1994.
Freshman guard Marcus Foster battled through injury to score 20 points and others for the Wildcats kept going down with minor injuries throughout the game. While players like Foster played good minutes in their starting roles, Kansas State also had a tremendous amount of depth on Monday as nine different players had at least four points for the Wildcats.
Omari Lawrence and D.J. Johnson each contributed nine points for Kansas State and unsung senior guard Will Spradling added 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals as he had a great overall floor game.
Kansas struggled to find offense at times as the Kansas State defense forced a lot of one-on-one possessions and bad shots. Kansas was 3-for-17 from the perimeter for the game and only shot 41 percent from the field.
By holding home court, Kansas State improves to 17-7 on the season, and at 7-4 in the Big 12 with a signature win over Kansas, they’re in great shape as the conference season moves along. The depth and heart that Kansas State displayed in the win Monday was a good sign of things to come as the Wildcats can rely on a lot of different role player to get things done in key situations.
One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.
Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.
How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?
Well, it seems.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.
And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.
“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”
He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.
But credit the Cardinals for responding.
Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.
Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.
Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.
According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.
Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.