From The Couch – 2010 NCAA Tournament/K-State vs.North Texas In Round One

From The Couch – 2010 NCAA Tournament/K-State vs.North Texas In Round One

K-State’s 2010 Elite 8 team was a fun team to watch.  Led my Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente, K-State earned the number two seed in the West region, the highest seed in program history.  I thought it would be fun to look back on that tournament run.  K-State played 15 seed North Texas in the first round.

“Kansas State set a school record for wins and earned its best seeding ever, nabbing the second-highest of the Big 12’s record seven NCAA berths after a season that included five wins over Top 25 teams“….Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM:  K-State was ranked as high as 5th in the AP poll during the 2009-2010 season and finished the season ranked number 7.

“Coming off a disappointing loss to top-ranked Kansas in the Big 12 title game, Kansas State went back to its nobody-believes-in-us mantra, turning practices into battles that left Kelly proudly sporting two cuts on his lip.”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM:  I do remember that Frank Martin put the team through some brutal practices in preparation for this tournament.

“Shaking off a long delay before tip-off and a jittery start, No. 2 Kansas State rolled to an 82-62 rout of North Texas on Thursday to avoid joining the list of opening-day upsets in the NCAA tournament. ‘We were getting antsy,’ Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen said. ‘We were very excited to get ready to play that game.'”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010 

“Shooting poorly and allowing North Texas to beat them on the offensive glass, the Wildcats (27-7) got off to a shaky start, providing hope for the 15th-seeded Mean Green. But Kansas State squashed any thought of an upset with defense, stymieing Josh White‘s forays into the lane while holding North Texas (24-9) to 31 percent shooting.”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM:  K-State took great pride in its defense during the 2010 season.  Holding a team to 31 percent shooting is a good recipe for success. 

“They are some pitbulls,” said (North Texas’ Tristan) Thompson, who hit all 10 of his free throw attempts. “They kept coming at us and we took some punches. We kept coming back, but they kept throwing them.”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM:  I remember Mitch Holthus referred to the big guys on this K-State team as “The Dobermans” for their tenacity in getting rebounds.  Thompson used a similar term, “Pitbulls.”

“The high-decibel coach once considered a babysitter for Michael Beasley has molded the Wildcats in his always-the-underdog image, getting them to play every possession as if it were the last of their careers.”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM:  This K-State team played hard for Frank Martin.  The “babysitter” had earned his respect by leading this team into the top 10.

“Led by defense, Kansas State got out on the break, hitting three straight layups — two by Pullen — to go up 30-16 with just over 5 minutes left. Clemente took over after that, hitting two late 3-pointers, and Kansas State held North Texas to 5-of-24 shooting to lead 41-25 at halftime.”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM:  This one was never really a close game.

“I thought we were right back in striking distance, but they came back and ran it back up to 20,” North Texas coach Johnny Jones said. “I think that’s the sign of a team that was poised. We made our run and they made the plays they needed to.”…Associated Press, March 18, 2010

JM: 20 was the final margin of victory in this one, 82-62.  Denis Clemente led K-State with 17.  Jacob Pullen had 15.  On to play BYU in the second round.

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