For just the seventh time, Kansas State basketball emerged victorious against their bitter in-state rivals inside Bramlage Coliseum, handing No. 4 Kansas a 75-70 loss in overtime on Monday night.
It was a staple win for the Wildcats, who entered the contest on a four-game skid, most recently a loss to last-place Oklahoma State.
However, that streak came to an end when Jerome Tang’s squad outlasted one of the top teams in the country in a must-win situation. The K-State head coach was elated with the victory, but also the way that the Wildcat faithful celebrated the victory.
Instead of storming the court, K-State fans remained in their seats and let the celebration come to them, and boy did it. Tang got tangled up in the student section and was soon joined by his players there, providing an unforgettable moment for the second-year head coach.
“Two of the proudest moments for me being here,” Tang said, “are when you can beat a nationally ranked team — Baylor was top 10 and Kansas is top 5 — and your fans don’t storm the court. We are building an expectation that these are games that we are going to win and we are going to be that kind of program.”
In a very similar situation last season, following an overtime win over the Jayhawks, Tang told fans that he envisioned those kinds of victories to become the expectations and that one day the fans might not feel the need to storm the court after a win. That vision came to fruition on Monday, albeit with a little help from his coaching and support staff.
While it might be headline-worthy news now, Tang hopes that storming the court is a thing of the past in Manhattan sooner rather than later.
“Let’s have an expectation that we’re going to win,” Tang said, “You know, I never see them storm the court at Allen Fieldhouse. I never see them storm the court at Duke and at North Carolina. I don’t believe there’s any reason why, given time and the opportunity, that we can’t build that kind of a program here in Manhattan.”
Kansas State (15-8, 5-5) will be back in action on Saturday when they head to Provo to take on No. 21 BYU at 9:00 p.m. CT.