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Kansas State takes down Kentucky, advances to first Sweet 16 since 2018

Fox News Flash top sports headlines for March 19


It was a battle of Wildcats from Greensboro, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon when No. 3 seed Kansas State and No. 6 Kentucky took the court. After a long, back-and-forth game, Kansas State is the one moving on after defeating Kentucky, 75-69. 

This is Kansas State’s first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2018. 

With just under three minutes to play, Kentucky’s Cason Wallace made a layup that gave them a 62-61 lead, but Kansas State was ready to answer that bucket.

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Cason Wallace #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts during the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at The Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ismael Massoud took a pass from Markquis Nowell and put up a three-pointer to take the lead back and splashed it for the 64-62 advantage.

After a miss from Chris Livingston of Kentucky, trying to match Massoud’s three, Kansas State went right back down the floor and gave their star player, Keyontae Johnson, the chance to separate a bit from Kentucky. 

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Johnson got his one-on-one matchup and didn’t squander the opportunity, as he stepped back and rained a three-pointer from the right wing and hit it to put Kansas State up, 67-62. 

Kentucky wouldn’t be able to answer, which led them to start intentionally fouling with the hope Kansas State would miss their free throws. But Nowell and Desi Sills were a combined 8-for-8 to end the game despite Kentucky trying their best to get back in it. 

Antonio Reeves #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives against Desi Sills #13 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the second half in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Antonio Reeves #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives against Desi Sills #13 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the second half in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at The Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Nowell was Kansas State’s leading scorer as the senior point guard dropped 27 points – he averaged 16.8 this season – with nine assists and two rebounds. Johnson also finished with 13 points, four boards and three assists. 

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On the Kentucky stat sheet, Antonio Reeves, the team’s second-leading scorer with 14.6 points per game, was ice cold when he put the ball up. He went 1-of-15 from the floor, including nine of 10 missed three-point attempts. That certainly didn’t help head coach John Calipari.

But Wallace stepped up with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting with nine boards and four assists. The team’s leading scorer, Oscar Tshiebwe, recorded a double-double with 25 points and 18 rebounds.

Desi Sills #13 of the Kansas State Wildcats reacts during the second half Kentucky Wildcats in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Desi Sills #13 of the Kansas State Wildcats reacts during the second half Kentucky Wildcats in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at The Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

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While Kentucky heads home, Kansas State goes on to face the winner of No. 2 seed Marquette and No. 7 seed Michigan State in the Sweet 16.



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