Iwundu had 24 points (6-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 11-13 FT), seven assists, and six rebounds in Tuesday's win over Wake Forest to advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament. Four players are averaging at least 11 points per game, and Wesley Iwundu has scored in double figures in 15 of his last 17 games.
With a tough defensive mentality and some of the best offensive efficiency of the season, Kansas State didn't have to hold on for dear life against Wake Forest. The Texas native is having his best season, and it just so happens that he's a senior on a team who's actually capable of pulling off an upset or two. After trailing by as many as nine early in the second half, the Demon Deacons made their run.
"It's always brought up when I talk to anybody", Collins said on Monday. "Unfortunately, it will take away from the experience of the game here and how great an experience this was". They've played one RPI top-100 team, losing to California by 25. Defensively, Kansas State is yielding 66.9 points per game against the opposing teams. The NCAA selection committee apparently sees a 30-point loss the same as a two-point loss, but we know that Wake Forest can perform better than the NCAA's bad math implies. Kansas State likely isn't going to beat Cincinnati or UCLA (the No. 3 seed in the South) by playing games in the 80s and 90s; it likely isn't going to win twice, or even once, by scoring 1.35 points per possession in an up-tempo game.
Whenever John Collins mentions that he plays for Wake Forest, he usually gets a question about his famous coach. For many, breaking a streak of NCAA Tournament futility means getting to the weekend, and that requires a win on Thursday in Sacramento against the Bearcats. The 6-foot-10 Wake Forest sophomore averages 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, shooting 62 percent from the field.
But the Demon Deacons (19-14) couldn't seem to make a play to take the lead.
This is the Mount's first appearance in three years and the Privateers' first since 1996.
The Wildcats just barely made it into the NCAA Tournament (and possibly saved their head coach's job at the same time), but they are plenty capable of making some noise this year after making it through the grueling Big 12 slate. Combined with a deadly offense and being underseeded by the committee, and the Demon Deacons could be the Final Four value pick that shocks the world out of the First Four once again.