With 26.7 seconds remaining in third-seeded Kansas State’s 75-69 win over sixth-seeded Kentucky, Jerome Tang drew up a nifty inbounds play with four players on the baseline preceding a bubble screen. Turns out, there’s a reference to a pretty notable NFL star with the play.
Tang enlightened everyone on that after the victory.
“We stole it from somebody else, but, yeah. We actually call it Mahomes, for Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs,” Tang said.
Having ‘Mahomes’ associated with anything can never be a bad thing, right? Take a look.
Tang also didn’t miss a chance to capitalize on a question regarding Kentucky’s tradition and taking down a team of its pedigree.
“Well, you know, we have a program that’s rich in tradition also,” Tang said. “I mean, like all those old dudes that played for Kentucky, they ain’t coming back. Right? Like, so tradition does not help you if you don’t get out there on the floor and play with dudes. And we had more dudes than they did today, and that’s what that was.”
To his point, point guard Markquis Nowell was a ‘dude.’ By game’s end, Nowell had poured in 27 points and nine assists, while making some of the most incredible rainbow 3-pointers over taller players you’ll see.
The Kansas State role players helped, too. Several of them had to take runs at defending Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe, and the refs definitely let them play. But forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 12 points and guard Desi Sills had 10 points, the latter of which did so after missing a few minutes due to an injury.
As for forward Keyontae Johnson, Kentucky focused on him intently on defense, and he only scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds. He made just one 3-pointer. But that one 3-pointer was large. Johnson drained one from the elbow with 1:20 left to give Kansas State a 67-62 lead. Kentucky couldn’t get any closer.
Now this collection of Tang’s cats will take on Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans in the Sweet 16. They’ll be looking to continue what’s already a special run.