The Kansas State Wildcats are headed to the first round of the NCAA tournament following a 95-88 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday night.
Though the No. 11 seed play-in game at University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio, wasn't an aesthetic pleasure because of so many fouls against both sides, the Wildcats were dialed in and hit 66 percent of their shots to set up a date with the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Swingman Wesley Iwundu led the charge for Kansas State with 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a complete effort that showcased his pro upside, as The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor noted:
One of Iwundu's finest moments came in the first half, when he took a dribble handoff and elevated high above the rim for a ferocious finish:
All told, Iwundu shot 6-of-9 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line as he repeatedly slashed to the rim with confidence, per Draft Express' Mike Schmitz:
The Wildcats also got a combined 40 points from Kamau Stokes and D.J. Johnson as they scorched the net in historic fashion, according to Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis:
Conversely, the Demon Deacons shot 47.2 percent from the field and only hung tough early because 17 of their 36 first-half points came from the charity stripe.
That said, the play of rising NBA draft prospect and stud forward John Collins was a sight to behold.
Collins was a sieve on the defensive end at times, but he totaled 26 points and nine rebounds to help keep his side in it before Kansas State pulled away late:
College hoops analyst Doug Gottlieb was among those impressed by Collins' effort:
But because the Wildcats withstood Collins' statistical outburst, they earned the right to square off against the Bearcats in Sacramento, California.
That matchup, however, will be daunting.
Cincinnati ranks ninth in the nation in KenPom.com's adjusted defensive efficiency—a mark that's 159 spots higher than Wake Forest's.
In other words, Kansas State will have a tough time replicating Tuesday's efficient showing against Mick Cronin's dogged squad if it isn't firing on all cylinders.
Kansas State's Twitter account posted video of coach Bruce Weber congratulating his team:
"We are here to mess up people's brackets," Wildcats guard Carlbe Ervin II said, per the Wichita Eagle's Kellis Robinett.
Collins refrained from addressing whether or not he would declare for the 2017 NBA draft.
"It's not something I'd like to comment on right now," he said, per the Winston-Salem Journal's Bret Strelow.
And while the Demon Deacons are headed home, coach Danny Manning took time to praise his group.
"Still disappointed to not come away with desired outcome, but proud of the effort," he said, per Strelow.
Stats courtesy of NCAA.com unless noted otherwise.