No two teams have been tougher than Florida Atlantic and Kansas State during this tournament. Now, we have a winner takes all game to go to the Final Four.
This is a matchup between two relentless teams and while FAU has an advantage when it comes to defense, the Wildcats have the best point guard in the tournament.
The Wildcats quarterback Norwell, despite his small stature, was still able to score 20 points, record 19 assists and five steals while making the defensive play that sealed the victory against the Spartans.
Michigan State was hitting just about everything from three and got far too many good looks, but Kansas State is much more adept at guarding against the outside than it showed.
Tennessee may have been No. 1 in the nation at defending the three, but Kansas State finished 15th and can also make some plays against Owl outside shooters. But there’s one other key for Kansas State here…
They made free throws. Tennessee couldn’t seem to buy a shot from the line. Kansas State wasn’t its usual self against MSU, making 11-of-16 shots – it’s 75% after all that and won’t back down in crucial moments.
Florida Atlantic took Tennessee’s best shot, then came back with a bang.
FAU made a stunning comeback to take a 62-55 win and play like boxers who take advantage of someone punching themselves out until exhaustion. FAU came back stronger, quicker, more energetic, and fresher in the second half to take control of the match.
Kansas State had just come from behind to defeat Michigan State behind point guard Marquis Nowell’s incredible performance, setting up an array of great shots – they hit 56% from the field and 46% from three. With this win, the Wildcats moved to just one win from the Final Four
Good luck against Florida Atlantic!
Kansas State is 13-1 when hitting better than 46% from the field and 13-8 when not. Their defense has only allowed teams to get close to 46% or better six times; when Kansas State locks down and keeps offenses from making more than 44% it’s 24-0.
Great at moving the ball around, outstanding from three, and playing with a chip on their shoulder that seems to provide motivation.
These two teams have not played this season.
Florida Atlantic is all over the place. It swarms, it looks like six players are going after every rebound and it can really hit threes with ease.
Florida Atlantic will not let up in this battle – turn up the volume from the outside, grab an offensive rebound if it doesn’t drop, and keep trying until success arrives! But Florida Atlantic won’t go away just yet…
Kansas State will likely make another run as long as Nowell’s ankle stays healthy. This game is as close as it can get matchup-wise and will be a tough game to pick.
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