Kansas State and La Salle went back and forth in what was an instant classic on Friday in Kansas City.
The No. 4-seeded Wildcats mounted a memorable comeback in front of a sea of supporters on Friday afternoon, rallying from 19 points down to take the lead late. But in the end, Cinderella would not be denied, as the 13th-seeded Explorers from the Atlantic 10 Conference upset Kansas State, 63-61, to advance to the Round of 32.
Here's the finish in case you missed it:
La Salle will take on 12th-seeded Ole Miss on Sunday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Derek Young points out how wide open the West Region is now:
New Mexico lost. Wisconsin lost. Kansas State being shredded currently by La Salle. Basketball gods are clearly on #Buckeyes side.— Derek Young(@Derek11W) March 22, 2013
According to SportsCenter, most of America liked the Wildcats to advance on Friday. Bracket busted:
Upset brewing! 13-seed La Salle leads 4-seed Kansas State 44-26 at half. 93.8% of brackets have Wildcats over La Salle (via @espnfantasy).— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 22, 2013
The Explorers, who defeated Boise State in Dayton on Wednesday just to earn a spot in the Round of 64, got off to a scorching-hot start in the first half, going up by 19 points and taking a stunning 44-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Former Tennessee coach and current ESPN analyst Bruce Pearl broke down the first half:
#UpsetAlert La Salle up double-digits on 4-seed Kansas State. Ramon Galloway a great 1st half. Explorers too quick.— Bruce Pearl (@coachbrucepearl) March 22, 2013
Kansas State would come out of the locker room fast and furious, though, scoring the first eight points of the second half and ultimately outscoring La Salle, 35-19, over the final 20 minutes.
When the game started to get tight late, many college basketball fans, like Kirk Kelly, found themselves struggling to decide whom to cheer for:
My heart says La Salle but my bracket says Kansas State. Who to root for?— Kirk Kelly (@OleDinky) March 22, 2013
The only thing Friday's epic matchup was missing, it seems, was beloved announcer Gus Johnson (via Mr. Solo Dolo on Twitter):
This La Salle - Kansas State game NEEDS Gus Johnson #MarchMadnessGawd— Mr. Solo Dolo (@Bob_Loblaw420) March 22, 2013
Sophomore forward Jerrell Wright and senior guard Ramon Galloway were absolutely huge for La Salle, combining for 40 points and 12 rebounds.
For the Wildcats, the trio of Jordan Henriquez, Shane Southwell and Rodney McGruder was big, combining for 47 of the team's 61 points. Unfortunately, Kansas State came up a basket short of forcing overtime or potentially advancing to the next round.
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