Kansas State coach Jerome Tang led Wildcats fans in a “K-S-U” chant after the Wildcats beat the Kansas Jayhawks, 83-82, on Tuesday night.
The overtime game pitted the No. 2 Jayhawks against the No. 13 Wildcats in the first of two Sunflower State Showdown games. But, Kansas State had not beaten Kansas in its last seven tries and Tang was making his rivalry game debut as the Wildcats’ head coach.
But, the ‘K-S-U’ chant didn’t start that way. Per Tim Fitzgerald of GoPowercat.com, Tang actually got up on the scorer’s table to stop an ‘F KU’ chant that started after the game.
From there, he turned it into a ‘K-S-U’ chant, as he stood on the scorer’s table in front of thousands of purple and white-clad fans. Eventually players like Keyontae Johnson, Markquis Nowell and Desi Sills joined him up on the scorer’s table.
“Isn’t it amazing what you can accomplish when you do something out of love,” Tang said after the chant.
Then, per Fitzgerald, Tang told the fans, “I told ya we were going to get you a court storming. From here on out, expect to win.”
The game was an instant classic, as Kansas State took the lead for good on an alley-oop dunk by Johnson with 20 seconds left, coming off a pass from Nowell.
Johnson had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats, while Sills — who came off the bench — also had 24 points. It made up for an uncharacteristically bad night offensively for Nowell, who had just four points.
For Kansas, forward Jalen Wilson had a career-high 38 points. But three different Jayhawks fouled out of the game — KJ Adams, Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar. Adams scored 17 points while Dick scored 16 points.
With the win the Wildcats moved into a first-place tie in the Big 12 with Kansas and Iowa State. The Cyclones defeated Texas, 78-67, to improve to 5-1 in league action.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.