MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State coach Jerome Tang grabbed a microphone and stood amid a sea of purple moments after raving fans flooded the floor to celebrate the No. 13 Wildcats’ 83-82 overtime win over second-ranked Kansas on Tuesday night. .
“They’ve got a storm on the court,” the Wildcats’ first-year coach told them over the uproar. “After this, we expect to win.”
The expectations are sure to rise now at Little Apple.
After blowing a 14-point lead in the first half, the Wildcats responded to all the trouble Kansas threw down the stretch. And when their game went into overtime, and players kept fouling, Keyontae Johnson delivered for Kansas State, throwing a go-ahead alley-oop dunk with 25 seconds remaining that ultimately turned out to be the difference.
“To get promoted,” Johnson said later, “we have to beat teams like Kansas.”
Johnson and Desi Sills each finished with 24 points, and Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 15 points and 10 boards, as the Wildcats (16-2, 5-1 Big 12) rebounded from a blowout loss to TCU by beating the Jayhawks. for the first time since February 5, 2019.
Jalen Wilson tried to take over in overtime for Kansas, converting a three-point play, knocking down a 3-pointer and making a pair of free throws for an 82-80 lead with just over a minute to go. But after Johnson hit a free throw on the other end, Wilson missed a deep 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Wildcats another chance.
After a timeout, Markquis Nowell lobbed which Johnson knocked down for an 83-82 lead.
Kansas (16-2, 5-1) also called a timeout to set up its own final play, but the normally safe Dajuan Harris Jr. fumbled in traffic, and the Jayhawks never had a chance to come up with a potentially game-winning play. . Shooting.
“If they told me we’d have the ball with a chance to win twice, that’s something I would probably sell myself on,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “That last possession is a possession that you probably wish we could get back.”
Wilson played all 45 minutes and finished with a career-high 38 points for the Jayhawks. KJ Adams had 17 points and Gradey Dick had 16, though both key players were sitting on the bench late after fouling.
Both teams had chances to win in the last 30 seconds of regulation time.
Kansas had possession first with 23 seconds left and the game tied at 72, only to see Harris lose control near the halfway line of the court, just as he did late in overtime. The Wildcats grabbed the loose ball and tossed it to Johnson, but the star forward missed a deflected shot to the rim just before the buzzer.
Johnson would not fail when given another chance to win in overtime.
It was the most anticipated Sunflower Showdown in years, drawing a crowd that meandered around the Bramlage Coliseum hours before kick-off while waiting to get inside. And it was the lesser-respected Wildcats rather than the defending national champions who showed poise and precision from the start.
Kansas State made its first five 3-pointers and shot 52% from the field in the first half. He stuffed Wilson, the leading scorer in the Big 12, three times before he made a basket. And at one point, the Wildcats led by as many as 14 points.
“They were shooting without light,” Adams said.
However, there’s a reason the Jayhawks went into the night 29-5 at Bramlage Coliseum.
They always seem to deal with the pressure there.
Wilson finally got on track, scoring 12 in the first half, and Adams found success with floaters in the lane, scoring 15 by half-time. The Jayhawks eventually closed the perimeter, forcing Kansas State to unsuccessfully drive to the basket, and they slowly cut their deficit, closing to 44-39 by halftime.
Despite foul trouble, the Jayhawks finally managed to come back, taking their first lead since the opening minutes at 59-57 with just under 8 minutes to go. But neither team was willing to give up down the stretch.
That’s why 40 minutes were not enough to decide.
“The best thing about basketball is that we will have another game in two days, three days. We can’t stop at this,” Wilson said quietly. “We have another good team on the way and we will see them again. That’s the beauty of the Big 12.”
THE TO TAKE
Kansas held on despite foul trouble, going 24-for-34 on free throws and shooting 6-for-29 from 3-point range. The Jayhawks did it by fixing early turnover problems and effectively getting to the rim on offense, though they couldn’t do it on a last chance in overtime.
Kansas State relies heavily on Nowell to make things happen, particularly on offense, and his worst games have led to losses. Butler held him to 13 points and committed five turnovers against TCU. But despite scoring just four points against Kansas, he racked up seven assists and none were more important than his last.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Kansas returns home to play No. 14 TCU on Saturday. Kansas State plays Texas Tech on the same day.
Johnson scores 24 as No. 13 K-State defeats No. 2 Kansas 83-82 originally appeared on NBCSports.com