Simply three days after ascending to solo possession of first place within the Huge 12, No. 5 Kansas State’s run because the lone workforce atop the standings of the nation’s most cutthroat convention got here to an finish because the Wildcats fell 80-76 at No. 12 Iowa State. Jaren Holmes led the Cyclones with 23 factors, together with a pair of free throws within the closing seconds that helped cement the result.
With the win, Iowa State (15-4, 6-2 Huge 12) rose right into a three-way tie for first place within the Huge 12 together with Okay-State and Texas after the Longhorns dealt with Oklahoma State at house on Tuesday. 4 gamers scored in double figures for the Cyclones, who remained unbeaten at house and washed out the unhealthy style of a blown 16-point lead from Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma State.
Kansas State additionally had 4 gamers in double figures, however the Wildcats struggled defensively within the second half as Iowa State shot 62.5.% from the ground within the closing half and made 15 of 19 free throws. The Wildcats (17-3, 6-2) acquired 23 factors from level guard Markquis Nowell, together with 18 within the second half, however merely could not provide you with sufficient stops.
Okay-State will drop off the projected No. 1 seed line in CBS Sports activities Bracketology Skilled Jerry Palm’s projected NCAA Match area due to the loss. The Wildcats stay among the best tales in school basketball after being picked to complete final within the Huge 12 underneath first-year coach Jerome Tang, however Tuesday was a reminder of simply how tough life is within the Huge 12 this season.
Iowa State’s arrival
The win marks Iowa State’s first victory over a top-five opponent because the 2015-16 season when the Cyclones beat No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 4 Kansas in back-to-back weeks. Present head coach T.J. Otzelberger was an assistant for that that workforce, which rose as excessive as No. 4 within the AP ballot and reached the Candy 16 as a No. 4 seed within the NCAA Match.
These heights appeared distant within the 2020-21 season because the Cyclones struggled to a 2-22 (0-18) report. However then ISU employed Otzelberger away from UNLV, and its fortunes instantly circled. The Cyclones completed 22-13 final season of their first 12 months underneath Otzelberger and reached the Candy 16 on the heels of the worst season in program historical past. The 2022-23 workforce is proving that final season was no fluke.
Actually, this Iowa State workforce seems even higher than final season’s squad, regardless of shedding main scorer Izaiah Brockington to commencement and second-leading scorer Tyrese Hunter, who transferred to Texas. The Cyclones at the moment are 6-4 in Quad 1 video games and are a mixed 2-0 towards Kansas State and Texas with whom they share first place within the convention.
Kansas State’s grind
Tuesday night time’s motion merely bolstered simply how brutal the Huge 12 is that this season. Not far behind the trio of 6-2 groups are perennial powers Baylor and Kansas at 5-3. Additionally at 5-3 is No. 11 TCU. All six groups within the group of 6-2 and 5-3 squads seem to have a respectable likelihood of profitable the convention. The league’s backside 4 of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas Tech are additionally among the many prime 75 within the NET rankings.
The Huge 12 is a grind, however the good factor for the Wildcats is that Tang is not any stranger to this actuality. After 19 seasons as an assistant at Baylor, Tang is aware of the Huge 12 higher than most. After his workforce’s first Huge 12 loss at TCU on Jan. 14, Okay-State rebounded by profitable towards Kansas in its subsequent outing.
There are many defensive points for the Wildcats to deal with from the movie of Tuesday’s sport, however there is no such thing as a cause for concern due to the Iowa State loss. Hilton Coliseum is a notoriously tough place for opponents, and Okay-State executed properly sufficient offensively in that atmosphere to win. In the end, the Wildcats’ protection is what let the workforce down.