K-State revives NCAA tourney hopes with win over Texas

Kansas State took a big step toward getting an NCAA Tournament bid by defeating Texas in come-from-behind fashion in the Big 12 Tournament second round play Wednesday. The Wildcats will face Iowa State on Thursday in another game that could dictate whether KSU will go dancing this month.



March 14, 2024 - 1:57 PM

Kansas State's Arthur Kaluma (24) drives against Texas' Kadin Shedrick (5) in the second half during the second round of the Big 12 Tournament at T-Mobile Center on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images/TNS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tylor Perry scored 21 points, making four pressure-filled free throws down the stretch, and No. 10 seed Kansas State rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat seventh-seeded Texas 78-74 in the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday night.

Arthur Kaluma added 14 points, David N’Guessan had 13 and Dai Dai Ames and Cam Carter finished with 10 apiece for the Wildcats (19-13), who gave their flickering NCAA Tournament hopes a big boost by following their upset of sixth-ranked Iowa State to end the regular season with a win over the Longhorns.

Now, they get another shot at the Cyclones — the No. 2 seed in the tournament — in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Longhorns (20-12), who led 39-29 at the half before falling behind 67-57 late in the game, gave themselves a chance when Dylan Disu — the tournament MVP a year ago — scored on a putback to get within 70-68 with 28 seconds to go.

But when Kansas State inbounded the ball to Perry, and he was hammered by the Longhorns’ Chendall Weaver, the officials assessed him a flagrant foul. Perry hit both free throws, and when the Wildcats retained possession and inbounded again, Carter caught a deep throw down the court and laid it in for a 74-68 lead with 18 seconds left.

Abmas answered with a 3 for the Longhorns, and Perry calmly made two more free throws. And when the Texas guard hit one more 3 with 8 seconds left, Carter stepped to the line and made his two foul shots to put the game away.

Abmas finished with 26 points to lead Texas. Ithiel Horton had 14 points and Dillon Mitchell scored 13, while star guard Tyrese Hunter was held to three points on 0-for-7 shooting from the field.

The Wildcats’ biggest problem early on was turnovers, just as it has been all season. They entered the game 338th out of 351 teams in Division I in giving the ball away, and they did it eight more times in the first half against Texas. Several turned into run-outs for the Longhorns, whose edge in points-off-turnovers nearly matched their lead for the game.

When the Wildcats began valuing the ball in the second half, their comeback was on.

Kaluma took it upon himself to drive for a series of tough buckets early in the half, not only drawing Kansas State closer but getting Disu and Brock Cunningham into foul trouble. And when Perry hit a 3-pointer from near the midcourt line with the shot-clock winding down, the Wildcats had pulled ahead 48-47 with 12:30 remaining in the game.

Kansas State still led 69-64 with just over two minutes to go when Abmas made a falling-sideways 3-pointer from right in front of the Texas bench, then got another bucket to go moments later, making it a three-point game in the final minute.


Texas hoped to improve its NCAA Tournament seed in Kansas City. It will likely be on the 8- or 9-line come Sunday.

Kansas State split with the Cyclones in the regular season, losing on the road before winning last Saturday.