The ending wasn’t pretty, but the outcome sure was, at least for the good folks of Manhattan, KS.
As Nebraska’s Doc Sadler and Kansas State’s Frank Martin taught a clinic in what not to do as a coach in the final minutes of a close game, Jacob Pullen was putting the finishing touches on a 27 point performance to lead the Wildcats to their third straight win, this time a 61-57 victory in a gym that Texas was unable to escape victorious.
This was a huge win for K-State, as they inched another step closer to locking up an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats were a top five team in the preseason, but drastic roster turnover and a lack of leadership and offensive firepower cost them early in the season. With Jacob Pullen playing like he has the past three games — he’s averaging 30.7 ppg in this three game winning streak — and guys like Rodney McGruder and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts slowly but surely becoming reliable role players, the Wildcats seem to have turned over a new leaf.
Imagine what happens if Jamar Samuels and Curtis Kelly start playing up to their expectations?
The more interesting case coming out of this game is Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are 18-9 on the season and 6-7 in the Big 12. They have just one bad loss — to Davidson — and two really good wins — Texas and Texas A&M. If they can beat Iowa State and Colorado on the road and take care of business against Missouri, who struggles on the road, in the Devaney Center, this team will require a good, long look come Selection Sunday.