For our second basketball installment of Wildcat Nostalgia Watch Party, we wanted to step back a mere two years, to the Sweet-16 game on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, where 9-seed K-State rode stingy defense, hot shooting from Xavier Sneed, and an incredible finish to beat the 5-seed Kentucky Wildcats to advance to the Elite 8.
You might recall that Dean Wade was unavailable with a foot injury. Xavier Sneed scored 22 points in 30 minutes, but he fouled out late. Makol Mawien and Levi Stockard had also fouled out, leaving K-State to try to pull out the win with Cartier Diarra (listed at 6’4) as the tallest player on the floor against Kentucky’s imposing front line.
With time winding down on K-State’s last possession, Barry Brown Jr. broke down the defense near the end of the shot clock, somehow squeaked a lay-up past the outstretched hand of Kentucky’s PJ Washington, and pandemonium reigned in Aggieville. Not only had the team reached the Elite 8 without arguably its best player, but it had beaten Kentucky for the first time in 10 tries, and did it with what looked like a rec league 6’4-and-under roster playing the pivotal moments of the game.
We wanted to to relive that game. Unfortunately, the highly possessive NCAA must shut down any attempts to make contests that recent available for venues like this. So, we’ll pivot to another important night in K-State hoops history: The night the No. 22 Wildcats finally ended one of the most ridiculous streaks in history by beating No. 2 Kansas (who were 20-0 at the time) on the hardwood at Bramlage Coliseum for the first time in the existence of the building, after 19 losses.
Beasley’s braggadocio. Pullen’s emergence as a star. Ending the hideous streak (which was actually 24 straight home losses, going back to the Ahearn days). We could do worse.
Link below. Start at 7:00 Central Daylight Time.