Five takeaways from Kansas State's 77-65 win over Montana State in NCAA Tournament

Kellis Robinett, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Basketball

GREENSBORO, N.C. — One of the best seasons in recent memory keeps getting better for the Kansas State men’s basketball team.

No. 3 seed K-State defeated No. 14 seed Montana State 77-65 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at Greensboro Coliseum, which means the Wildcats are moving on to the Round of 32 for the first time in five years and just the second time since 2012.

Head coach Jerome Tang continues to exceed expectations in every way possible. K-State beat Montana State thanks to 17 points and 14 assists from Markquis Nowell to go along with 18 points and eight rebounds from Keyontae Johnson.

The Wildcats will next play No. 6 seed Kentucky on Sunday with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line. Until then, here are five takeaways from Friday night’s action:


You couldn’t have asked for much more from Markquis Nowell while playing in his first NCAA Tournament game.


The senior point guard did it all for K-State and finished with 17 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. Whenever he flirts with a triple double and limits his turnovers the Wildcats are usually hard to beat and that was once again the case on Friday.

He saw the floor well and created many scoring opportunities for his teammates by driving to the basket and then kicking the ball out to shooters.

It wouldn’t have been hard for him to finish with a handful more assists had the Wildcats made a few more open looks.

Still, he matched his career high for assists. College basketball players can be wildly unpredictable when they make their debut in March Madness.


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