CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Barry Brown scored 18 points and ninth-seeded Kansas State posted a 69-59 wire-to-wire victory over No. 8 Creighton on Friday night despite playing without leading scorer Dean Wade.
Mike McGuirl added 17 points and Kamau Stokes had 11 as the Wildcats won a first-round NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 2012.
Wade had been expected to play after suffering a stress fracture in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, but never got on the floor. His teammates picked him up, particularly on defense.
Creighton came into the game ranked 10th in scoring in Division I at 84.3 points per game, but the Wildcats (23-11) limited the Bluejays to 59 points, tying their season low. Creighton (21-12) shot just 33.8 percent from the field, including 26 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Leading scoring Marcus Foster was held scoreless in the first 28 1/2 minutes and finished with five points on 2-of-11 shooting against his former team.
Foster was booted off the Kansas State team after the 2015 season for multiple violations of team rules, but said earlier this week this game was more about advancing than any type of revenge. He took responsibility for his mistakes, saying it was something that he needed to go through to grow up.
But Foster was never found his rhythm. He didn’t score until making a driving baseline layup with 10:30 left in the game.
The Wildcats jumped out to 10-2 lead behind Kamau Stokes, who scored the game’s first seven points. They never trailed.
Creighton cut the lead to two after Mitch Ballock scored seven straight points for the Bluejays to open the second half. But Kansas State stayed ahead and McGuirl completed a four-point play after being fouled on a baseline jumper to give the Wildcats an 11-point lead with 7:13 remaining in the game.
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