Kansas State snapped a four-game losing streak with a 75-70 upset win in overtime vs. No. 4 Kansas on Monday. The Wildcats recorded their second Quad 1 victory of the season and it came against their in-state rival in front of a spirited crowd at Bramlage Coliseum.
North Texas transfer Tylor Perry scored 21 of his 26 total points in the second half and extra period and Kansas State guard Cam Carter recorded his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats (15-8, 5-5 Big 12) started conference play 4-1 before falling to Iowa State, Houston, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half against KU.
Kansas (18-5, 6-4) was coming off its biggest conference win of the season over Houston on Saturday before falling on the road in Manhattan two days later. Kansas star big man Hunter Dickinson recorded his 14th double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and star guard Dajuan Harris Jr. finished with 15 points, which marked his highest scoring output in nearly three months.
Kansas forward K.J. Adams sent the game to overtime after he threw down a game-tying dunk with 16 seconds remaining just seconds after Kansas State big man Arthur Kaluma grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a putback to take a brief lead.
Kaluma knocked down a pair of free throws with 18.4 seconds remaining in the extra period to ice the game.
Kansas State continues dominance at home under Tang
Since Jerome Tang took over as Kansas State’s coach last season, the Wildcats have been almost unbeatable at home. The Wildcats are 12-2 in Big 12 home games under Tang (4-10 on the road in conference games) and have 28 wins at home during that span, tied with fellow conference members Cincinnati and Houston for the most of all Division l teams.
Tang has helped elevate the Kansas State program to new heights and his team nearly reached the Final Four for the first time in 60 years last spring. The Wildcats landed marquee transfers Perry and Kaluma in the offseason to reload the roster and they both had their fingerprints all over this win.
Kansas State needed this win in the worst way and this could end up being a turning point in its season. Regardless, a win over your biggest rival at home for the second consecutive season is a positive development.
This is the bad version of Kansas that will hold them back
Just two days ago, Kansas looked like the team which was ranked No. 1 in the preseason. The Jayhawks went down 2-0 in the opening minute to Houston and then controlled the game from that moment on in a 78-65 win. Monday showed that Kansas still has work to do.
Kansas State has been incredible at home under Tang, but with a brutal two-game stretch coming up against Baylor at home and Texas Tech on the road, this was a game the Wildcats needed to win to start to create separation at the top of the Big 12. They failed to do that.
Kansas star Kevin McCullar Jr. had a great game on paper (15 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals) but finished 6 of 18 from the floor. Kansas’ starters played 43, 36, 39, 43 and 43 minutes. Reserve forward Parker Braun played a team-high 10 minutes off the bench and former five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson logged a season-low five minutes after playing nine minutes against Houston.
The bottom line: The best version of Kansas has players you can rely on to come off the bench and make an impact. Kansas coach Bill Self is tightening up his rotation, which isn’t a bad thing but come March, you will have to rely on your bench in certain moments. If Jackson can find a role off the bench, the Jayhawks will be in a good spot.
At this point, you don’t know what version of Kansas you’ll get on a nightly basis. Monday was the bad, last weekend was the good. The latter is a Final Four team, the former could be heading for another early tournament exit.