The Big 12 tournament had plenty of hometown-vested interest as the semifinals took over downtown Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday.
To start, fans of both the top-seeded Kansas State Wildcats and No. 5 Iowa State Cyclones packed the Sprint Center.
The Wildcats shared the regular-season Big 12 title with No. 2 Texas Tech, who was upset by 10-seed West Virginia in the quarterfinals. Iowa State had the opportunity to ensure a new champion would be crowned in the tournament.
Kansas State and Iowa State had split their regular-season meetings with Iowa State winning most recently Feb. 16.
That champion may be the third-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, who saw their NCAA-record run of 14 consecutive regular-season conference titles come to an end this season. However, West Virginia came out hot in the two teams' semifinal game Friday night.
Below is a comprehensive look at Big 12 tournament results, scheduling and recap.
Friday's Semifinals Results and Schedule
No. 5 Iowa State def. No. 1 Kansas State, 63-59
No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks def. No. 10 West Virginia, 88-74
Saturday's Finals Schedule
No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 3 Kansas at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN
View the full Big 12 tournament bracket at the NCAA official website
Kansas State Wildcats 63, Iowa State Cyclones 59
Friday's first semifinal game was one of runs and giveaways.
An upset looked unlikely to start as Iowa State turned the ball over seven times in the first 10 minutes of the game. However, a nearly nine-minute scoreless drought from the field by Kansas State swung things in the Cyclones' favor anyway, and they entered halftime with a 10-point lead.
Once the game resumed, the Wildcats went on a 13-3 run of their own capped by sophomore guard Cartier Diarra drilling a three-pointer to tie the game at 38-38. From there, neither team held a lead larger than five.
With around nine minutes to play and the Wildcats nursing a four-point lead, ESPN's Holly Rowe relayed from the sideline that Diarra—the team's leading scorer with 15 points—was struggling with "discomfort in his lower abdomen." He eventually returned, but it wasn't enough.
Cyclones senior guard Marial Shayok led all scorers with 21 points and none more crucial than the three he notched with 55 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 55-55 tie. Iowa State would not trail again.
Iowa State (22-11) will continue its turnaround season—the Cyclones finished 13-18 last campaign—in the finals against either Kansas or West Virginia. Kansas State (25-8) will now wait by the phone on Selection Sunday to hear where it will be seeded in the NCAA tournament.
Kansas Jayhawks 88, West Virginia Mountaineers 74
After a sluggish start, Kansas came to life late in the first half. Freshman guard Quentin Grimes led the charge by shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point land, including one four-point play. Grimes sent the Jayhawks into the locker room with a 48-40 lead by draining a long three at the buzzer.
In the final six minutes of the first half, the Jayhawks went on a 25-10 run to turn a seven-point deficit into an eight-point lead.
On Thursday night, West Virginia led by as much as 17 points over second-seed Texas Tech in the quarterfinals before Texas Tech battled back to take the lead with 2:03 remaining, but West Virginia held on. The Mountaineers couldn't stave off the Jayhawks' second wind in the same way.
Instead, West Virginia began the second half disjointed and allowed Kansas to take full control. West Virginia freshman forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. had a game-high 28 points in the win over Texas Tech, but Kansas held him to just five points.
Grimes finished with 18 points before leaving with 6:04 remaining due to apparent cramping. KU junior forward Dedric Lawson led all scorers with 24 points, while junior forward Lamont West led the way for the Mountaineers with 16 points.
The Mountaineers (14-20) can take some solace in knowing they became the first 10-seed to ever make the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament since the field expanded to 10 teams.
Meanwhile, Kansas (25-8) will have less than 24 hours to prepare to face fifth-seeded Iowa State for the Big 12 tournament title Saturday night.