I feel even much better about this Kansas State team following they escaped Utah State, 73-68. The Aggies just wouldn’t go away and seemed to be that pesky opponent that you can’t very get a comfy lead on. As the game went on, they had been hanging around making you wonder if this would come down to…totally free throws.
A dreaded word for the Wildcats who shoot just 64 percent from the line. Instead, the free throws had been a position. K-State hit 11-of-14 from the line within the last minute-plus and 24-of-28 for the game. Incredible.
Jacob Pullen had 22 points in the victory and hit 9-of-12 totally free throws.
“It was just understanding that our last game of the season could come if we do not shoot the ball well from the free throw line,” said Pullen, who produced 6 of 8 free throws in the final stretch. “It’s about focusing and I believe we did a great job of that.”
If someone wasn’t hitting free throws, head coach Frank Martin was going to blow a gasket. He was fuming, as expected, on the sidelines. I said prior to the game that Pullen and someone else, like Curtis Kelly, would need to step up, As it turns out, Kelly did step up ending with 15 points and six boards.
Kansas State moves onto play fourth seed Wisconsin, who beat Belmont on Thursday.