by Bryan Holmgren
Amazing how much easier the game of basketball becomes when you're playing from in front, as opposed to battling back from huge deficits. The Cats led for all but a handful of plays in Thursday night's First Round victory over USC. We weren't quite sure what to expect out of them after a lax month to close out the regular season, but K-State players didn't seem at all surprised, telling us tonight's performance was the product of several days worth of them on the practice floor.
"We just came out with the same intensity we've had all week," said freshman guard Jacob Pullen. "Coming out with that intensity, we jumped on them early and just tried not to give up the lead. We were all thirsty for this win, and we got it."
It also didn't hurt that USC's bigs spent the better part of the night foul trouble - most notably Taj Gibson, who picked up his third late in the opening half. He was tagged with his fourth foul early in the second, sending 12 points, 8 boards worth of production to the bench. Still, the Trojans weren't interested in using that as an excuse.