Having won at least a share of the Big 12 title for just the second time in the Big 12 conference era, Kansas State rallied around its whole team, not just the starters, to make a run in the Big 12 tournament.
After going into the locker room at halftime down by 10 to an Iowa State team who clearly outplayed the Wildcats in the first half, K-State came out with something to prove in the second half.
The starting five for the Wildcats came up huge in this game in the semifinals of the tournament. Without senior forward Dean Wade for the second game of the tournament, sophomore guard Cartier Diarra led the team with 15 points in his second game back. Head coach Bruce Weber commented on how Diarra’s three to start the second half helped K-State get on a run.
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This senior class has been trying to prove their ability for the last four years. This team set a bucket list at the start of the season. Several of those items have been crossed off. They beat Kansas in Bramlage, they beat every team in the Big 12 at least once, and they earned a share of the conference title. The place they fell short was in this tournament, in winning it for the first time in program history.
Last year, this team made it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament. Wade was out with an injury, but the rest of the team fought through that. Hopefully, Wade can rest up over the next few days and help the team in this year’s run. The team isn’t focused on losing this game, they’re preparing for who they will play in this year’s NCAA tournament.
“Once our name goes across that screen, it’s gonna be all about preparing for that game,” said Brown.