Former Kansas State Coach Shows Gentle Side

Two former Kansas State Basketball coaches earned trips to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. One of them surprised us all.

Did you see former Kansas State coach Frank Martin’s South Carolina Gamecocks destroy Baylor on Friday?

Bruce Weber’s Wildcats upset the Bears twice this season. Despite scoring just 19 second half points, the ‘Cats edged the Bears in Waco 56-54. They also beat Scott Drew’s team on March 9, in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament.

On Friday night, the Bears reminded me a little of the way they played against Kansas State in early February. They were not able to do much of anything against South Carolina.

Frank Martin’s team could do nothing wrong.

It is similar to the way they played in the second half of their win over Duke.

That win in the round of 32 on Sunday is among this year’s tournament’s biggest upsets.

I couldn’t believe how they manhandled Baylor.

Mar 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin speaks the media during practice the day before the East Regional semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Some Kansas State fan’s miss hearing his expletives over Wyatt Thompson’s radio play by play of games. Some South Carolina fans have told me they attend games just to watch his “angry eye” antics.

Martin made quite an impression on the national media and one young reporter following the Baylor game. It was a class act by the coach not known for his kinder, gentler side.

This is Martin’s first trip to the NCAA tournament since he took Kansas State following the 2011-12 season.

That’s right, Martin’s South Carolina teams have not been in the big dance until this year.

After a 25-win season, they did get a trip the NIT last season. They lost in second round.

This was the team’s first trip to the Sweet 16.

On the other hand, Martin coached Kansas State to four NCAA tournament berths over five year as head coach of the Wildcats.