Kansas State ends UMBC’s Cinderella run, advances to Sweet 16

In a defensive slugfest that wasn’t decided until the final minute, No. 9 seed Kansas State ended No. 16 UMBC’s run with a 50-43 win.

The Wildcats, who hadn’t been to the second round since 2012, now advance to the Sweet 16.

3 Who Mattered

Barry Brown: On a night where Kansas State’s offense struggled the most it has all year, Brown was the exception that proved the rule. The junior guard dropped 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting while remaining perfect (8-of-8) at the free throw line.

KJ Maura: The spark plug for the Retrievers scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting while registering a pair of steals. He also routinely harassed K-State’s ballhandlers, stagnating the Wildcats’ offense.

Makol Mawien: K-State’s starting big man was the only other Wildcat to reach double figures as he scored 11 points. He added 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Highlights

Observations

K-State’s defense is getting stingy

After holding Creighton’s leading scorer, Marcus Foster, to just 5 points in the first round, Kansas State locked down a UMBC team that dropped 74 on top-seeded Virginia.

The Retrievers shot just 29 percent (14-of-47) from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range (6-of-22). The 13 steals were also the second-most the Wildcats have registered all season.

UMBC belonged in the second round

The Retrievers sure didn’t look like a fluke team in the second round. After a tone-setting effort from Kansas State’s offense against Creighton, UMBC stymied the Wildcats all night.

UMBC never trailed by double digits was within one possession late in the game.

Perhaps that’s how a 16-seed had to be to beat a No. 1. The Retrievers left no doubt that they deserved their shot at the Sweet 16.

The Wildcats  need Dean Wade to get healthy

For the third-straight game for K-State, First Team All-Big 12 honoree Dean Wade sat at the end of the bench with an injured foot.

The Wildcats’ offensive struggles against UMBC only exacerbate the need for Wade’s return to the lineup. He can score from anywhere on the court, and his size presents a unique mismatch.

His presence alone probably would have been enough to bury UMBC early and often.

The Number: 8 percent

Against Creighton, Kansas State shot 47 percent from 3-point range, its highest mark in that category since January.

Then against UMBC, the Wildcats were just 8 percent (1-of-12) from behind the arc, a season-low.

What’s Next for Kansas State Basketball

No. 9 Kansas State will face No. 5 Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

The post Kansas State ends UMBC’s Cinderella run, advances to Sweet 16 appeared first on Diehards.

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