Kansas State upsets Kentucky, advancing to the first Sweet 16 since 2018
The Wildcats battle of Greensboro, North Carolina, was on Sunday afternoon when no. 3 seeds Kansas State no. 6 Kentucky took the court. After a long back-and-forth game, Kansas State was the state to roll in after defeating Kentucky, 75-69.
This is the Sweet 16’s first appearance in Kansas State NCAA Tournament since 2018.
With less than three minutes to play, Kentucky’s Casson Wallace made a layup that gave them a 62-61 lead, but Kansas State was ready to answer that bucket.
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Ismail Massoud caught a pass from Marquis Noel and put up a three-pointer to take the lead and hit it for the score 64-62.
After Miss Who Chris Livingston from KentuckyIn an effort to match Masood’s three, Kansas State went back down and gave their star player, Keyontae Johnson, the chance to break away a bit from Kentucky.
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Johnson got his one game and didn’t waste the opportunity, running back and raining a right wing three-pointer and hitting to put Kansas State ahead, 67-62.
Kentucky would not be able to answer, prompting them to begin deliberately doodling in the hopes that Kansas State would miss their free throws. But Nowell and Desi Sills were a combined 8-for-8 to finish the game despite Kentucky trying their best to get back in it.
Noel was Kansas State’s leading scorer as the top defender dropped by 27 points – he’s averaged 16.8 this season – with nine assists and two rebounds. Johnson also finished with 13 points, four boards and three assists.
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On the Kentucky sheet, Antonio Reeves, the team’s second leading scorer with 14.6 points per game, was cool as he put the ball down. He went 1 of 15 from the floor, including nine of his 10 missed three-point attempts. This certainly did not help coach John Calipari.
But Wallace rallied with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting with nine boards and four assists. The team’s leading scorer Oscar Cheppui scored a double-double with 25 points and 18 rebounds.
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While Kentucky comes home, Kansas State goes on to face the No. 1 winner. 2 rated Marquette and No. 7 seed Michigan State in the Sweet 16.