The result was as expected as the Wildcats won a 71-61 affair, that was not even really that close.
However, upon Huggins return he was greeted with a standing ovation by the Wildcat faithful.
And deservedly so.
Huggins was the architect responsible for resurrecting Kansas State back to national prominence during his brief stint at the university. Huggins went 23-12 as coach of the Wildcats during the 2006-07 season, his lone season with the program. He then left for West Virginia, his alma mater, following the season.
Huggins commented that West Virginia would have been the only job he would have left Kansas State for. Unfortunately, when John Beilein left for the Michigan Wolverines later that same off-season, the timing was right.
However, Huggins left the Wildcats Head Coach, and now South Carolina Gamecocks Head Coach, Frank Martin in great shape. Martin had the support of the fans after Huggins revival and with players like Michael Beasley and eventually Jacob Pullen, made the Wildcats not only relevant in the Big 12 but on the national landscape too.
Martin of course laid the foundation for current Head Coach Bruce Weber’s success, but Huggins one year in Manhattan cannot be understated.
Huggins mentioned, “I mean, I really like this place.” He added, “I like the people. The people have been wonderful. It’s nice to see people you haven’t seen in a while, but at the end of the day, it’s a business trip.”
It was great to the mutual respect afforded by both the Kansas State fans and Huggins.
The Wildcats definitely owe him their gratitude after what he did for their program.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo