Kansas v Kansas State
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Kansas State took its remarkable turnaround season to new heights on Tuesday as the No. 13 Wildcats upset No. 2 Kansas 83-82 in overtime at Bramlage Coliseum. The outcome snapped a seven-game losing streak for K-State in the Sunflower Showdown as first-year coach Jerome Tang's squad improved to 16-2 (5-1 Big 12) in his first taste of the in-state rivalry.

Wildcats wing Keyontae Johnson caught a lob from Markquis Nowell and flushed it for a dunk with 25 seconds left to put K-State ahead. With a chance to tie or take the lead in the final seconds on the ensuing possession, Kansas committed a game-ending turnover. Moments later, Kansas State students stormed the court to celebrate a monumental victory for a program coming off three consecutive losing seasons prior to Tang's arrival.

The win was particularly impressive because it came on a quiet night for star point guard Markquis Nowell, who scored a season-low four points. Former Arkansas and Arkansas State guard Desi Sills stepped up with a season-high 24 off the bench, and Johnson added 24 as well.

None were more important for Johnson and the Wildcats, however, than his highlight-reel flush in the final minute, especially since it came over Kansas star Jalen Wilson, who scored a career-high 38 points in a losing effort. Wilson scored eight of KU's 10 points in the overtime period but could not will his team to victory in a thrilling rivalry showdown.

Keyontae Johnson gets redemption

Johnson had a chance to win it in the final seconds of regulation after Nae'Qwan Tomlin forced a Kansas turnover that led to a fast-break layup attempt, but Johnson's shot clanged off the backboard just before time expired. The Wildcats wanted a foul called against Kansas big man Zuby Ejiofor, who contested the shot. But in a game that featured 49 foul calls and a total of 67 free-throw attempts, there was no whistle on the play.

Ultimately, Johnson got his redemption with his go-ahead flush in overtime. The big dunk stands out as the grandest highlight moment yet in Johnson's comeback from an on-court collapse in December 2020 that threatened his career. Johnson was playing for Florida at the time and was not medically cleared for the rest of the 2020-21 season, and he did not play last season either as he adapted to a pseudo-coaching role with the Gators.

As it turned out, Johnson had plenty left in the tank as a player. He entered Tuesday's game averaging a team-high 18.4 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Wildcats and turned in another sterling performance. Johnson finished 7 of 17 from the floor and 8 of 9 from the free-throw line.

Legitimizing Kansas State

Kansas entered as a projected No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm, and the Jayhawks will remain on the projected No. 1 seed line for now. Kansas State entered as a projected No. 4 seed and only added more credibility to an already impressive resume.

The Wildcats entered with an excellent 4-1 record in Quad 1 games, but the win over Kansas stands out above any other victory to date for for a few reasons. For one, it came against a despised in-state rival that had dominated the series in recent seasons. But it should also silence some of the lingering doubters wondering if Kansas State could stay nationally relevant under a first-year coach amid the rigors of Big 12 play.

K-State suffered its second loss of the season on Saturday when it lost 82-68 at TCU, giving some ammunition to those who assumed the Wildcats would begin to fade after a stunning 4-0 start to league play. But after Tuesday night's win against the Jayhawks, that road loss to the Horned Frogs looks like nothing more than the cost of doing business in what appears to be the nation's most rugged conference.

Kansas down starters late

Wilson's performance stood out for the Jayhawks as he finished 12 of 25 from the floor and 11 of 12 from the free-throw line. He added nine rebounds and two blocks for good measure in a performance that should only cement his place as frontrunner for Big 12 Player of the Year. But his heroics for KU were by necessity more than by design.

Kansas wing Kevin McCullar fouled out with 5:47 remaining after being held scoreless for the first time this season. KU center KJ Adams then fouled out with 1:43 remaining after scoring 17 points, leaving the Jayhawks down two starters in the closing stretch of regulation.

Finally, star freshman Gradey Dick fouled out with 1:31 left in overtime. The collection of disqualifications left the Jayhawks without three of their top four scorers on the floor during the final 1:31 of overtime. Having three reserves on the floor with the game on the line in a top-15 road battle was far from ideal.