Melvin Ejim, Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue were simply too much for Kansas State’s bigger front line, as No. 16 Iowa State’s starting forwards combined for 61 points and 27 boards as the Cyclones ran past the Wildcats in a thriller, 91-85.
The Cyclones were up five in the final minutes, but after Kansas State star Foster rattled home a three and Ejim missed a layup, the Wildcats had a chance to tie the game at 87 but Shane Southwell committed a turnover and Naz Long buried a pair of free throws. Bruce Weber’s club never got the ball in a one possession game again.
Kansas State had been one of the best defensive teams in the Big 12 this season, but they not only allowed Iowa State to score 91 points, they gave up 50% shooting from the floor and 16 offensive rebounds. For a team that struggles offensively, losing a game with they shoot 54.5% from the floor is disheartening.
Iowa State will be one of the more interesting teams to seed come Selection Sunday. This group had 10 top 50 RPI wins, which is an outstanding numbers. If they can somehow find a way to win the Big 12 tournament, it might be time to start considering the Cyclones for a No. 2 seed, and maybe even for the last No. 1 seed.
No one else seems to want to win their way into the top line. Why not the Cyclones?
Iowa State will advance to take on the winner of Oklahoma State and No. 10 Kansas on Friday.