KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four observations from Iowa State’s 94-83 upset of top-seeded Kansas in Friday’s semifinals of the Big 12 tournament:
There’s no ‘D’ in Kansas
After the Jayhawks allowed 90-plus points for the second time in three games, the absence of Joel Embiid seems even more pronounced than anticipated.
Iowa State’s 68-percent shooting in the second sounded alarms for Bill Self, who suggested his Jayhawks—once chasing an NCAA No. 1 seed—might not even be a No. 2 now.
“When we got stops the second half, it almost felt like it was because they missed. It wasn’t because we did anything to make them miss,” Self said.
“You score 83 points, you’re supposed to win. It wasn’t anything offensively (that went wrong.) It was all on the other end.”
Wiggins back to earth
When is a 22-point game not so good? When it requires 21 shots to accomplish it. Such was the inefficiency that plagued Andrew Wiggins’ performance.
A few of his seven baskets were the high-degree-of-difficulty variety, and to his credit, Wiggins wasn’t settling for 3s. (He was 1-of-4 from deep.)
Perry Ellis scored 30 points while going 11-of-12 but was minimized in the second half by Iowa State’s hard-charging double-teams.
Speaking of efficiency, how do you categorize the performance of Iowa State’s Georges Niang? Talk about an all-or-nothing game: He scored 25 points on 11-of-22 shooting with seven assists but also committed eight of ISU’s 11 turnovers.
“Georges, we felt, was the guy that could go out and make plays for us and he did that,” Fred Hoiberg said. “Had a few turnovers he’d probably like to have back, but he must have scored six or seven straight possessions there to create some separation for us.”
DeAndre the dead-eye?
For years the big guard has stuffed boxscores with big numbers, but he remains only a 29-percent 3-point shooter for his career. So when he made 5-of-6 on Friday, including a couple under duress, Kansas figured it was in trouble.
“Kane was unbelievable,” said Self. “He’s taken 90 3s on the season or whatever and he’s 5-of-6 tonight.”
The Marshall transfer closed with 20 points, six rebounds, two steals and a 6-to-1 assists-to-turnover ratio. Iowa State was 11-of-19 from 3-point range overall.
“We played them up there in Ames the first time, they were 4‑of-26 from 3,” Self said. “And I’m sure they made the same shots tonight they missed up there.
“Who knows if they’ll shoot it again this well tomorrow, but tonight they were terrific.”
The Mayor gets a T!
The golly-gee Coach of the Year doesn’t receive many technicals, but Friday was the exception. He walked on the court to argue with official Mike Stuart during a first-half media timeout and was T’d up.
West Virginia fans will recall Hoiberg wandering far off the bench during the onset of a timeout in Ames on Feb. 26. Stuart also worked that game but didn’t issue a technical—at least not to Hoiberg. He gave one to Bob Huggins minutes later.
Hoiberg said his only previous technical, as a coach or a player, came during Iowa State’s loss to Kentucky in the 2012 NCAA tournament. So did he think his second career technical was justified?
“I wasn’t going out on the floor to dispute the call. It was a media timeout, and I went out there,” said Hoiberg, who admitted, “I used a bad word. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I didn’t.”
Even when he curses, you wanna go “awwwww.”