March Madness: Wake Forest settled in for NCAA Tournament opener

The Demon Deacons have had some close losses-by six at Duke, by two against Duke at home, by six against North Carolina, by seven at Northwestern and by seven at Notre Dame-which hurt their resume, but showed they could play with those teams if needed. These are the same Wildcats who didn’t’ shoot better than 56 percent in 18 Big 12 games this season.

One win would have allowed the Deacons to skip Tuesday in the ACC Tournament as well, and two would have given them an easier Wednesday matchup (Virginia got Pitt, for example).

Weber said the game came down to his team’s 42 points in the paint and 18 assists.

That’s 80.6 percent. Reminded me of Eddie Sutton’s 1992 Cowboys, who made 28 of 35 shots for an entire NCAA Tournament game against Tulane and ran a virtual layup line in Atlanta’s now-gone Omni. “We came up short in some games that we played, but I think that that adversity helped us down the stretch of our conference without question”.

We’ll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game.

Sophomore guard Kamau Stokes had several costly giveaways early on against Wake Forest. “We’ve got to become a better rebounding team and a better defensive team in terms of getting the ball in front of us”.

In one of the Wildcats’ biggest wins, 75-74 at TCU on March 1, Wade made 8 of 15 shots, 4 of 9 three-pointers and scored 20 points. Both squads feature pretty good offenses that are capable of scoring in bunches and this might be one of the higher-scoring games of the first week of the NCAA Tournament as a result. I mean you can’t beat a guy like that. “Maybe get on this flight, get to Sacramento and really focus on the game”.

Head coach Bruce Weber yells during the basketball game between K-State and Baylor in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in the Sprint Center on March 9, 2017. Then he had a private conversation with him in the locker room at halftime. “Coach was lying back, clapping, but I could see that he was happy”.

Senior guard Carlbe Ervin is a point guard, but he sometimes fills up the stat sheet like a center.

Even with that trio, Wake Forest finished in 10th place in the ACC, and that prompted concern.

K-State turned in a strong first half, overcoming foul trouble and 10 turnovers to hold a 40-36 lead. Kansas State underperformed during the regular season, and played in arguably the toughest conference in America, the Big 12.

While Arians recognizes his role as the elder statesman on a Deacons team lacking experience on a stage this large, the 6-foot-6 Wisconsin native said he’s yet to give his teammates any advice beyond simply enjoy the moment and soak in the atmosphere. K-State is 5-1 in Manhattan in the NCAA Tournament.

In the past, play-in winners have played their first round game two days later. “… This group seems very offensive minded, kind of in a way what Kansas is this year, but we’ve got to stop them”.

They got to play a true elimination game on Tuesday.

K-State students can present a valid K-State student ID to receive free admission at the southeast entrance of Bramlage Coliseum on gameday. Wake Forest, another Nike school, wore similar shirts that read “Wake Forest Mentality”.

K-State’s 57-49 lead slowly shrank as the Demon Deacons continued to hit shots and started adding points from the free-throw line.

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