Kansas State beat Wake Forest, 95-88, in a First Four matchup in Dayton on Tuesday.
“Tonight our guys rose up,” Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We were just so excited to have the opportunity to be in the tournament. We felt we could beat them. It wasn’t going to be easy. I thought they even played better than anticipated, but our kids did a great job getting points in the paint. We were patient, we had a good pace, (and) we had 18 assists. I think that was the big difference in the game.”
Kansas State (21-13) shot 66 percent from the floor, as senior Wesley Iwundu and sophomore Kamau Stokes scored 24 and 22 points, respectively. Stokes had four turnovers in the first half but settled down in the second.
“He got that first three to roll in, the hoop started looking good then and he got five threes down for us,” Weber said.
Sophomore forward John Collins scored a game-high 26 points for Wake.
Kansas State, seeded 11th, will face No. 6 Cincinnati (29-5) in South regional action Friday. Tip-off is at 7:27 p.m. ET.
“We’ve competed with the top teams in the country, we beat some of the top teams in the country, and we feel confident,” Weber said. “If (the Big 12) isn’t the best league, it’s one of the top leagues in the country. Playing Cincinnati, totally opposite of Wake Forest. They’re going to be physical, aggressive. It’s going to be a bar-room brawl, but we’ve dealt with that. We played West Virginia to a 51-50 game last week. We’ve played Baylor, which is one of the toughest teams in the country. We’ll have to find a way to score against them, but we got to win. We’ll just go there, play loose and free, play with reckless abandon, see if the ball is rolling our way and the calls go our way and maybe get another win.”