FINAL, TAMU, 63-60
Jake dribbles around, and Bill misses a 3. Rebound to K-State, which goes inside to Mike, who scores, of course. Playing straight up defense, no need to foul. Down one. Turge burns a 30-second timeout with 36.1 seconds left and 14 on the shot clock. A play is drawn up for Jones, who is defended closely by Bill. The shot is long, and the rebound bounces to the Wildcats. Frank calls a timeout with 20.6 seconds left. The whole place is on its feet. They allowed Mike to make the difference, and he gets a clean look at the rim. The shot is off the mark, and they foul with 7.9 seconds left. Josh Carter hits the first free throw, and the second.
1:16 left in regulation, TAMU, 61-58
Mike’s called for a foul, and Frank and Dalonte tell him he should have gone straight up on Joe Jones. He’s demonstrative, and he’s asking one of the officials what he did wrong. The official sticks the whistle in his mouth, which is the universal sign for “walk away.” Seriously, how cool would that be if you had such a signal where you work? Same dude is now clowning with Jake, who has apparently defused the situation. Jones makes the first, tying the game, and then hits the second at 3:27 to give A&M the lead back. Sloan hits one of two, and the Aggies are up two. Beasley’s 3 is in and out, and there isn’t much time left. This Bryan Davis cat is straight mauling kids on the court right now. Blake’s at the line for a one-and-one with 1:57 left and he makes one of two. No box on Davis, who soars for the offensive board on the miss and tips it home.
3:49 left in regulation, KSU, 57-56
Bill called for an offensive foul, and yeah, this is happening. One and done? Really? Ron Anderson, making his first appearance (I think), keeps a possession alive with an offensive rebound. Jake called for a reach, and Mike chides him for swatting at the ball. Fred Brown wants A&M to have some – he’s balling right now. Nice 14-foot jumper – K-State is within four. Roland misses a pair of free throws. Mike with the strong take and he’s fouled. He makes the free throw, and it gets loud in here. And it gets even louder after Blake steals the ball. And then it’s louder at 4:00 when Bill wheels to the rim and K-State takes the lead. A&M takes a 30-second timeout.
7:44 left in regulation, TAMU, 55-48
Bill misses a jumper, and he’s stuck on six points. Stew with a runner – and his fiancee, wearing a No. 5 jersey by the way, is all fired up. Nice move for Brian Davis. Stew with the jets, going coast-to-coast. Kirk, with shot clock virtually expired, goes glass from way, way deep. It sucks the life out of the pro-KSU crowd. Bill gets to the rack, absorbing contact. The Wildcats are going to need more of that. But A&M answers… Kirk is going nuts. He drills another 3, and this one nearly sends Turge into orbit.
11:42 left, TAMU, 47-42
Are the wheels coming off? Fred Brown with a nice crossover and then a charge. Oops. Sloan drills a 15-footer, and man, the Aggies are playing with confidence. Then Mike gets a deep touch, and all is right again. He breaks a drought, but he misses the free throw. Beasley scores on an absurd shot, and Marty Blake says, “Jesus Christ! He had three guys around him!” It’s nice when you impress a guy who has seen all of the great ones play.
14:08 left in regulation, TAMU, 45-38
Could the Wildcats be headed home? Me and Levi were nearly just taken out. Offense looks a little stagnant right now. Hey, there’s Ron Prince. Muhlbach is back, and man, he’s scrappy. You see what I’m doing, right? OK, I’ll let it go. Fred loves sightlines here – another 3 ball for Mr. Brown, and the crowd wakes up. Within two, Muhlbach rips an apparent 3, but it’s being reviewed. Yeah, it’s a 3. Elonu is patient in the paint and converts, and Frank is frustrated.
HALFTIME, TAMU, 38-33
Jake forces a turnover with a five-second call. Then he drives to the rack and misses, but Gilbert gathers the loose change and follows. Muhlbach – he’s scrappy. Mike throws the ball away on an inbounds pass. Josh Carter hits a 15-footer. Bill tosses up an airball. Derrick Roland with a strong take – plus he’s fouled by Mike, his second foul. But there’s only 1:29 left in the half, but Frank is taking no chances. DK comes in for Mike. K-State, timeout. We’re on the other end of the court, and you can hear Frank screaming at the Wildcats. That whole outstretched arms with clenched fists thing that coaches call for a play? It never works. Turge called for that with about 18 second left on the clock. No dice. Lew Perkins just molested me. Not really, but he almost groped me. It was weird.
3:39 left in 1st half, 31-all
Bill hits the deck with a little more than six minutes left in the half, but he shakes off the pain – it’s something to do with his hand, it appears – as Mike scores at the six-minute mark to give K-State the lead. Lane violation by ‘Nique on a free throw. Turge and an assistant are yelling at Dhinemulu Elonu to be more aggressive, and they might have a point – he just watched as Beasley blew by him. He was fouled, but Mike missed both free throws. Kirk gets to the rack and scores. Bill hits from the elbow. He’s got 6, Mike had 14. Bad boxout for K-State. “C’mon, ref,” Mike says after he felt he was fouled. That dude B.J. Holmes looks like he’s 10.
7:41 left in 1st half, 26-all
This is how good Michael Beasley is – or a sign of how badly some people want to be on the big screen: Some KU fans are holding a sign that signs “Michael BeasTley.” I mean, they’re wearing blue and red, and there isn’t a hint of purple in the group. Strange. DK just wrestled a ball away from some dude. Mike gets another deuce. Nice finish by Bill, on a nice dish from DK. Frank has always said DK is one of the team’s best passers. It’s 20-18 with 10:03 left. Nice effort by Joe Jones, who retrieved the rebound and laid it back in. I’ve been critical of Jones in the past, and I want to give credit where it’s due. Big 3 from Stew… but then Josh Carter answers on the other end, drawing a big fist pump from Turge. In transition – DK3? Unreal. This place explodes, which is especially funny because Mike was demanding the ball the whole time.
11:44 left in 1st half, TAMU, 20-14
Andre Gilbert has “MY WILL” and “MY WAY” tattooed on the back of his arms. Just figured that was the stuff you need to know. Beasley too strong. Jake’s in at 14:40, replacing Stew. Team defense is lackluster right now. DeAndre closed late on a Mike 3, saying, “Oh, sh$%.” Yep, that’s the stuff you only get here at “K-Stated.” Rough landing off a drive for Gilbert – and it’s a charge. Fred Brown has entered the game – last time he in this building, he had nine points on four-of-six shooting in 16 minutes against Florida A&M. Yeah, I’d say the competition has stiffened considerably, no? It always looks like Fred Brown’s shoes are untied. Man, Jake continues to play with a lot of poise and confidence. But the Wildcats are struggling. Just a little.
15:47 left in 1st half, TAMU, 11-7
Those drill people from A&M are annoying. Looks like A&M is going to pack it inside and try to get the Wildcats in foul trouble. It’s a 5-0 start for A&M. Mike has missed a couple of shots. Bill gets on the board with a driving layup, going glass. These cats from A&M have already sweat through their uniforms. Mike is so good – that shot was absurd. Blake with a 3 – nice ball movement. Ten second call, and Turgeon can only rub his forehead. Man, that’s rough. Kirk drills a 3, and Frank immediately gets Andre Gilbert up off the bench.
I just met Pete – and he’s rocking a D.C. Assault hat, by the way. It’s kinda nice. He said Catzacker is also in the house. This is shaping up as a mini-KATPAK’R, and half of you have no idea what that means. OK, most of you.
But it’s all good. Nice atmosphere – if anyone is reading this from their mobile devices inside the Sprint, holler at my parents in section 109, next to the QT sign. My dad is dying to talk K-State hoops right now.
Mike was presented with his Big 12 Player of the Year trophy a few moments ago, which was a nice moment. He was just introduced and it took him about 10 seconds to meet one of the Aggies at mid-court, which made K-State assistant coach Matt Figger laugh. Good stuff.
A lot of purple here, if you were wondering…