Jacob Pullen's the type of player where even the opposing fans like him so when he loses in heartbreaking fashion, like he did Saturday night against Wisconsin in the 2011 NCAA tournament bracket, you feel for him. The Kansas State Wildcats were close but it wasn't enough as the Badgers beat them, 70-65.
Wisconsin moves on to face Butler in the Sweet 16 while Pullen and co. head home. For Pullen, a senior, it's the last time he'll be putting that K-State jersey on.
"You know," K-State head coach Frank Martin said, "unfortunately, this time of year, one team has to win and one has to go home. And, unfortunately, for us we're the one that's going home."
But they wouldn't have even been in this position if it weren't for Pullen. He tied a career high with 38 points -- taking over the top spot as the school's all-time scoring leader along the way -- hitting on 6-of-8 three-pointers. It was the last three, though, that they'd like to have back.
Kansas State got the ball back and had a shot to go for the tie with seconds remaining in the game.
"I just saw the clock," Pullen said. "And I saw we were down 1 with 20-something seconds and I just wanted to get it into open court. You know, I made a move and I thought he had my hand. I went to at least try to put the ball on the rim. But, you know, it was a physical game, and the referees decided not to call anything. So we had to play through it. The last shot of the game just didn't get a good tip. You know, I don't know. He played good D and got a piece of the ball."
And just like that it's over. It'll be Pullen, and not Michael Beasley, who folks remember the most from that recruiting class. Four years later....