Kansas State keeps rolling with First Four win

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Kansas State’s late-season surge continued in Dayton.

The Wildcats defeated fellow 11-seed Wake Forest, 95-88, on Tuesday evening in the teams’ First Four matchup. Kansas State will now ship off to Sacramento, where sixth-seeded Cincinnati awaits them in the South region.

Questions about and calls for Kansas State coach Bruce Weber’s job reached a zenith last month when his Wildcats were absolutely throttled by Oklahoma, which would ultimately finish ninth in the Big 12, for their fifth loss in sixth games. The style and the substance both seemed to be fading fast in what looked increasingly like his potential swan song in Manhattan.

Since then, Kansas State beat TCU on the road, Texas Tech at home and Baylor on a neutral floor. The Wildcats were then 2 minutes away from knocking off No. 11 West Virginia and earning a berth into the Big 12 tournament final.

Now, Weber’s got an NCAA tournament win with the Wildcats to his name.

Sure, it came on the technicality of the First Four, but, hey, still counts.

Kansas State’s offense was scintillating, shooting 66 percent from the field and 37,5 percent from deep. Wesley Iwundu flashed every bit of his talent in his 24-point performance in which he made 6 of 9 from the floor and 11 of 13 from the line. Kamau Stokes added 22 points on his own.

Overall, the Wildcats shot 80.6 percent on 2-point shots. That’ll win you a few games.

John Collins had 26 points for Wake Forest, but, as evidenced by Kansas State’s percentages, didn’t offer much in the way of rim protection or defensive intimidation for the Demon Deacons.

Kansas State now moves on to face the Bearcats in an interesting litmus test for the strength of the Big 12. The league was considered by many as the premier conference in the country. If the Wildcats, the league’ last NCAA entry, can best the Bearcats on short rest, it would be a data point in support of that argument. It would also be perhaps the strongest yet for those wishing to defend Weber’s tenure, which certainly looks very much likely to continue whether or not Kansas State makes the second round. What a difference a month makes.

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.