Kansas State coach Jerome Tang did not mince words when talking about what it meant to him to beat Kentucky in the Round of 32 and advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Markquis Nowell scored 23 of his 27 points in the second half to help Kansas State defeat Kentucky, 75-69. The team advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2018.
"We have a program that’s rich in tradition also," Tang told reporters after the game, via WLKY. "All those old dudes that played for Kentucky, they ain’t coming back, right? So, tradition does not help you if you don’t get out on the floor and play with some dudes. We had more dudes than they had today. That’s what that was."
Kentucky is the typical blue-blood school that has had a lot of success in college basketball, whether it was under John Calipari or someone else. Kentucky has not made the Final Four since 2015 and the national championship since 2014. They lost won a title in 2012.
Kansas State will play Michigan State in the East Regional semifinals on Thursday.
Tang is in his first season with the Wildcats. He worked under Scott Drew at Baylor before taking the Wildcats’ job before the start of the 2022-23 season. He took the reins from Bruce Weber, who was there from 2012-2022.
Kansas State got to the Elite Eight in 2018. However, the Wildcats have not been to the Final Four since 1964 and in the tournament finals since 1951.
Tang and Kansas State still have a ways to go before getting a chance at a national championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.