Barry Brown scored 18 points and Xavier Sneed made key plays down the stretch as ninth-seeded Kansas State ended 16th-seeded UMBC’s Cinderella run with a 50-43 win over the Retrievers on Sunday in NCAA Tournament South Region second-round action at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.
UMBC became the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed when the Retrievers blew past top-ranked Virginia on Friday. They stayed closed with Kansas State but couldn’t knock down enough shots to pull off another upset.
The Wildcats (24-11) advance to face fifth-seeded Kentucky on Thursday in the Sweet 16 at Atlanta. It is the first Sweet 16 appearance for Kansas State since 2010.
The Wildcats led 38-33 with seven minutes to play but couldn’t put away the Retrievers (25-11). Jairus Lyles drilled a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring UMBC back within one.
Sneed answered with a steal and breakaway dunk and later followed a missed shot with another dunk that put Kansas State up 44-38 with three minutes to play.
Sneed wasn’t done, though. He hit a mid-range jumper as the shot clock was expiring with one minute to play. The sophomore forward finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four steals. Six of his eight points came in the last five minutes of the game.
In UMBC’s win over Virginia, the Retrievers scored 74 points, shot 54.2 percent floor and made 12 3-pointers. They cooled off against the Wildcats, though, shooting 29.8 percent from the floor and hitting just 6 of 22 3-point attempts.
Lyles led UMBC with 12 points vs. Kansas State, and K.J. Maura added 10 points.
The first half was a slugfest, dominated by defense. Kansas State missed all eight of its 3-point attempts.
Brown got going late in the half, working his way into the paint for points to give the Wildcats a 25-20 lead at intermission. Brown scored eight of his 10 first-half points in the final five minutes before halftime.
The Wildcats shot 40.9 percent overall, hitting just 1 of 12 from 3-point range.
—Field Level Media