The final regular season game ended with a win and now Kansas State gets to prepare for a trip to the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. Misery lost earlier which secured K-State’s #4 seed and most importantly the first round bye which means they won’t be back in action until next Thursday afternoon. Get your tickets now but in the mean time, continue reading to see the good, bad, and ugly of the final game in Bramlage for Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly.
Hot Start… Sometimes senior day can be a dangerous thing for the home team. The pregame ceremony and introductions are great for the fans and for those seniors, but a lot of times it takes all the energy of the first 5 minutes of game time with it. It might be because there are only two seniors on the team, but K-State controlled the emotion and came out hot. Kelly hit the first two shots in the paint, Pullen nailed a 3, and McGruder put one in to make it 9-0 before you could blink. Add Iowa State going one and done with nothing to show for it and it looked like Kansas State was going to roll to an easy victory.
Spradling… Spradling is continuing to show that he has the ability to be a killer when needed. He quietly put in 13 points including 6 straight off a 3 point basket and 3 free throws which went along with his 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 4 assists. One of those came on a great pass to Pullen deep inside the paint. He isn’t the floor general quite yet, but I think it’s coming.
Pullen… Mr. Consistency finished with 17 points, 4 boards, 4 assists, and 1 moment that will never be forgotten by Wildcat Nation. On his final trip to the bench at Bramlage, Pullen took the time to bend down and kiss the Powercat. It was genuine love for his home for the last four years and an incredible finish this season. Only two words needed to describe that moment: total redemption.
Passing… How many times did a K-State player throw something into an area where they shouldn’t have? These weren’t the type of passes where two opposing players battle for position and the other team comes away with it. These were the “what the heck” passes that went directly to Iowa State. Crap like that is what contributed to 19 Wildcat turnovers and made this game a lot closer than the 12 points K-State ended up winning by.
Controlling the boards… There were way too many times in the first half where the only color around the rebound was red. K-State wasn’t boxing out, wasn’t getting in good position and constantly fell away from the board as soon as a shot went up rather than crashing them like normal. I have a feeling HC Frank martin went ballistic at halftime because this aspect of the game totally changed in the second half.
Playing Down… Against an inferior team, K-State failed to put it completely out of reach until the final minute of the game. Iowa State was allowed to hang around far too long and while it never felt like Kansas State didn’t have control of the game as a whole, the lead never felt safe either. A win is a win but I would like to see the worst team in the Big 12 put away quickly rather than the hottest team in the Big 12 playing down to their level.
If anything had been ugly it was erased by Pullen’s final moment. EMAW!