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ATLANTA -- Of all the takeaways from Kansas State's dramatic 61-58 win vs. Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the one that has resonated well into Friday afternoon is whether or not UK's players did or did not shake hands with Kansas State players after the game. 

It's shocking that the buzz after Kansas State's stunning upset wasn't its incredible defensive performance, or John Calipari taking the blame for Kentucky's late-game offensive woes, but rather is the absence of palm slaps after a physically and emotionally exhausting second weekend NCAA Tournament game. 

Kansas State started the drama, with at least two players telling ESPN in the locker room after the game that Kentucky's players walked off the court without shaking hands. The KSU players took offense to it, calling out the sportsmanship of the superstar-laden South Region favorites. Those comments brought about an immediate response from Calipari, who simplified the situation: Kansas State's players were celebrating, and so Kentucky shook hands with the coaches and left the floor. 

"Well, I went down to shake (the players') hands, too, and they were turned and celebrating so that I walked off," Calipari explained. "I had no disrespect for anything, just that they were celebrating and I was happy for them. I walked off, too. 

"I went down, I shook all the coaches' hands, I went down to shake [the players'] hands. I understood. They're in an Elite Eight game now, a chance to go to the Final Four. My team is not like that, neither is our program. There's no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game."

On Friday's off-day media availability, the first question asked to Kansas State's players wasn't about facing Loyola-Chicago on Saturday in the Wildcats' first Elite Eight game since 2010, it was about the handshakes - or lack thereof. KSU coach Bruce Weber reacted like he, and everyone else knew it was coming, and junior guard Barry Brown was tapped to provide the answer. 

"I think we were just cheering too much and didn't really get kind of organized to be able to get in that line and shake their hands," Brown said. "Maybe they just walked off just because they didn't think that we were going to get organized and be able to shake their hands."

That's it. Open and shut case. Kansas State's players didn't get a chance to shake hands with Kentucky's players because they were celebrating with each other. The Wildcats from Manhattan, Kansas aren't bad sports for wanting to embrace each other after wearing down and knocking out an opponent in what was essentially a road game, and the Wildcats from Lexington, Kentucky aren't bad sports for leaving the floor when the mayhem of the moment threw a kink in standard postgame procedure. 

Kansas State players started to celebrate immediately after beating Kentucky. USATSI

"It's not that big of a deal. We were celebrating and they maybe thought we weren't going to shake their hands," Brown said. "It's not anything that we should be worried about. That was yesterday, and we're just focused on Loyola and what we can do to beat them today." 

For Kansas State, putting this issue to rest immediately shows maturity that might not have been reflected in the emotional immediate aftermath of the win. It makes sense that Brown, the team's leader and primary spokesperson was the one who addressed the issue. 

Brown wasn't a part of calling out Kentucky on Thursday night, but he was tapped to bury it on Friday. The story isn't about celebrations or handshakes, the story is about a team that's been overlooked and underhyped all season, but doesn't seem to use that or need that as motivation for success. 

Brown joined the program in 2015, the team had just gone 15-17 and missed the NCAA Tournament. A three-star prospect with little attention from major conference programs, Brown immediately become one of the Wildcats' most important players as a freshman and finished the year named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer team by the league's coaches. 

"I knew coming in, the program had some rebuilding, but I knew with the pieces we had, we just needed time to get a little bit of experience, gel together, and come together and really buy into the program," Brown said. "I feel like this year is the first year we have just that experience that we need and everyone buying into it, and not really worrying about their own individual accolades and goals and stats and stuff like that. 

"I feel like we're all really here to play K-State basketball. I knew this time was coming. It was just a long time coming, a lot of hard work and dedication and preparation."

"K-State basketball," in Brown's words, starts with defending. Defending the gaps, helping the helper, rebounding and pushing the ball in transition. There's a commitment to defensive principles that Brown can explain and Kansas State has shown on the floor (No. 14 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency) that has incredibly effective in this NCAA Tournament run. 

But holding opponents to a combined 33 percent shooting from the field isn't going to generate attention like a controversy involving Kentucky, so while fans try to Zapruder the game tape, point fingers and talk sportsmanship, Kansas State has already moved on to Loyola. The Wildcats just hope that their next handshake line is followed by cutting down the nets and celebrating a Final Four.