Just three days after ascending to solo possession of first place in the Big 12, No. 5 Kansas State’s run as the lone team atop the standings of the nation’s most cutthroat conference came to an end as the Wildcats fell 80-76 at No. 12 Iowa State. Jaren Holmes led the Cyclones with 23 points, including a pair of free throws in the final seconds that helped cement the outcome.
With the win, Iowa State (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) rose into a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 along with K-State and Texas after the Longhorns handled Oklahoma State at home on Tuesday. Four players scored in double figures for the Cyclones, who remained unbeaten at home and washed out the bad taste of a blown 16-point lead from Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma State.
Kansas State also had four players in double figures, but the Wildcats struggled defensively in the second half as Iowa State shot 62.5.% from the floor in the final half and made 15 of 19 free throws. The Wildcats (17-3, 6-2) got 23 points from point guard Markquis Nowell, including 18 in the second half, but simply couldn’t come up with enough stops.
K-State will drop off the projected No. 1 seed line in CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm’s projected NCAA Tournament field because of the loss. The Wildcats remain one of the best stories in college basketball after being picked to finish last in the Big 12 under first-year coach Jerome Tang, but Tuesday was a reminder of just how rough life is in the Big 12 this season.
Iowa State’s arrival
The win marks Iowa State’s first victory over a top-five opponent since the 2015-16 season when the Cyclones beat No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 4 Kansas in back-to-back weeks. Current head coach T.J. Otzelberger was an assistant for that that team, which rose as high as No. 4 in the AP poll and reached the Sweet 16 as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Those heights seemed distant in the 2020-21 season as the…
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Author : David Cobb
Publish date : 2023-01-25 04:48:57
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