In a high-scoring affair, Melvin Ejim led Iowa State to a 91-85 victory over Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals. Ejim finished with a double-double on 24 points and 10 rebounds. Dustin Hogue also recorded a double-double of his own with 19 points and 10 boards.
Kansas State was led by Marcus Foster who scored 21 points. Shane Southwell and Nigel Johnson came off the bench for the Wildcats and gave Bruce Weber‘s squad solid minutes. Southwell finished with 19 points and seven rebounds while Johnson pitched in 17 points.
Despite the loss which extends Kansas State’s losing steak to three games, the Wildcats have done enough to make the NCAA tournament. With seven wins over RPI Top 50 teams as well as a relatively tough schedule to go along with a brutal conference slate, the Wildcats should be dancing when their name is called on Selection Sunday.
All of those marquee wins however were at home. If the Wildcats want to make any sort of run in the tournament, winning away from home sweet home is essential. The “toughest” road win for Kansas State this season was at Texas Tech, a team who finished 14-18 and has an RPI of 115.
A bad home loss to Northern Colorado and a neutral court defeat against Charlotte doesn’t look too good either, but the Wildcats did what they had to do on their home floor. Protecting their house most likely has punched their ticket to the Big Dance.
Just don’t expect a deep postseason run since these games are played away from Manhattan.