I feel even better about this Kansas State team after they escaped Utah State, 73-68. The Aggies just wouldn't go away and seemed to be that pesky opponent that you can't quite get a comfortable lead on. As the game went on, they were hanging around making you wonder if this would come down to...free throws.
A dreaded word for the Wildcats who shoot just 64 percent from the line. Instead, the free throws were a position. K-State hit 11-of-14 from the line in 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 free throws.
"It was just understanding that our last game of the season could come if we don't shoot the ball well from the free throw line," said Pullen, who made 6 of 8 free throws in the final stretch. "It's about focusing and I think we did a good 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 before the game that Pullen and someone else, like Curtis Kelly, would have 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.
For more on K-State check out Bring On The Cats.