Getty Images

Could there be more to the "Hilton Magic" at Iowa State's Hilton Coliseum than just a raucous crowd? Kansas State coach Jerome Tang reportedly thinks so. Tang suspected ISU of committing espionage during K-State's 78-67 road loss to the Cyclones on Wednesday, according to a report from the Kansas City Star.

Tang had a verbal exchange with Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger in the second half, and the two also shared a longer than normal discussion in the postgame handshake line during which Tang pointed to a spot in the stands behind the visiting team's bench. At the heart of the matter was Tang's suspicion that Iowa State had messengers strategically positioned to relay the plans from K-State's timeouts back to the Iowa State bench via text message, the Star reported.

Both coaches deflected questions on the issue following the game, with Tang telling reporters that "nothing happened" and expressing admiration for Otzelberger. Both were longtime Big 12 assistants before landing head coaching jobs in the league during recent years. Still, despite their long relationship, Tang was clearly bothered by what he must have perceived as a violation of basic sportsmanship from Otzelberger's program.

Otzelberger denied the reported accusation following the No. 23 Cyclones' 79-75 home victory vs. No. 7 Kansas.

"Ludicrous rumors earlier this week that somehow we were trying to gain an advantage looking into our opponent's huddles is an affront to our players, our fans and to me," he said, reading from a prepared statement. "It's not who I am. It's not what our program is about. And I'm angry that someone would even make that suggestion.

"What is factual is one of their staff members cursed out one of our student managers who was mopping the floor under the basket. So, let's put this to bed here and now. It didn't happen. It won't happen. And others need to be much more careful with their words moving forward."