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Kansas State coach Jerome Tang was feeling the love after defeating Michigan State in a thrilling OT win. The Wildcats advance to the Elite Eight after a 98-93 victory over Tom Izzo’s Spartans.
Tang went wild in his postgame interview: talking about the team’s faith in each other and slathering star guard Markquis Nowell with hype after the close win.
“I mean, we got a ton of faith in each other,” Tang shouted, riding the adrenaline of the roaring crowds at Madison Square Garden.
“They have faith in me. I got faith in every one of these guys right here,” Tang added. “They probably did more coaching than I did. I’ll just try to love them, man. And when you love people, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.”
Kansas State’s win was hard-fought as the Spartans and transfer Tyson Walker challenged the Wildcats for the lead. By the end of regulation, K-State and MSU exchanged leads 12 times and tied the score 11 times.
One guy that Tang was head over heels for was Nowell, who did it all on the floor. The 5-foot-8 guard set the NCAA Tournament record with 19 assists on Thursday. He chipped in 20 points, five steals and three rebounds.
“You know, when we were that it was a place of fire,” Tang shouted. “But we practiced in a place of fire all the time, so we were ready for it. This is a bad boy right here.”
Nowell also had what OutKick’s Trey Wallace called “the best play of the tournament” with a fake-out lob to Keyontae Johnson (22 points) in crunch time. Nowell sealed the win for the Wildcats after stealing the ball from Tyson Walker and throwing up a layup as time expired.
Kansas State will take on the winner of Tennessee versus FAU.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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