MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State coach Bruce Weber was so confident his team would beat top-ranked Oklahoma that he had his team practice what to do when fans stormed the court.
Weber should have let the fans in on the plan.
Led by Wesley Iwundu and Dean Wade, the Wildcats overcame a slow start to each half and beat the Sooners 80-69 on Saturday night. But when the final seconds ticked away and Weber's bunch jogged to the safety of center court, they were startled to see all those fans celebrating in the stands — even though it was the fifth time in school history that Kansas State had knocked off the nation's No. 1 team.
"That's the best team in the country and we just beat them," said Iwundu, who had 22 points. "We have every reason to hold our heads up high right now."
Wade finished with 17 points, D.J. Johnson had 12 and Justin Edwards scored 11 for Kansas State (14-9, 3-7 Big 12), which ended the Sooners' four-game win streak in part by holding Buddy Hield in check. Hield had 23 points, but a big chunk came in the final minutes, when the Sooners (19-3, 7-3) were desperately trying to rally.
"We got beat by a club that outfought us," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "They were more energetic to loose balls and more active and I thought all night long they were a little quicker."
Ryan Spangler had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Sooners, and Isaiah Cousins scored 16 points before fouling out. Cousins picked up a personal in the closing minutes — his fourth — and then kicked the ball into the stands in frustration for a technical foul and a seat on the bench.
It was that kind of game for Oklahoma.
Hield made seven of 16 shots and didn't attempt a free throw until there was about seven minutes left. Fellow guard Jordan Woodard went 0-for-5 and failed to score, and forwards Dante Buford and Khadeem Latin were plagued by foul trouble.
"If you don't play well, get outfought, you're not going to win in the Big 12," Kruger said.
The start of the game hardly provided any indication of the result.
Kansas State started in about the worst shape possible, turning the ball over four times without getting up a shot. And when it finally did, it was an air ball from 18 feet.
Oklahoma took advantage by scoring the game's first nine points, but was unable to deliver a knockout blow, and eventually Kansas State started fighting back.
Wade was the instigator, hitting a couple of three-pointers and scoring 10 first-half points. Edwards converted a three-point play just before halftime, and a thunderous dunk by Iwundu a moment later gave Kansas State a 38-32 advantage.
By that point, a frustrated Hield was barking at officials for fouls. The senior guard, averaging 25.8 points, was held to six in the first half.