MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas had dominated its rival on the road, winning 48 of the previous 51 matchups.
Putting three freshmen in the starting lineup, especially in a raucous environment such as Bramlage Coliseum, is nevertheless a tall order — even for a team as talented as the seventh-ranked Jayhawks.
That youth showed itself down the stretch, as Marcus Foster scored 20 points — including two free throws in the closing seconds of overtime — to give Kansas State an 85-82 victory Monday night.
"When you're from Cameroon, Toronto or Boston and it's your first time through it, sometimes you may not understand how much it means to everyone who has played in it before," Kansas coach Bill Self said referring to his trio of talented freshmen: Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden Jr.
"We'll know better with our young kids next time," Self said.
Will Spradling added 15 points for the Wildcats (17-7, 7-4 Big 12), who blew a nine-point lead with less than 2 minutes left in regulation, only to survive for just their third win over the Jayhawks (18-6, 9-2) in 26 games played at Bramlage Coliseum.
Hundreds of students flooded the court when the final buzzer sounded to celebrate the end of a six-game skid against Kansas.
Wiggins scored 16 points for the Jayhawks, including a putback of his own miss with 6.9 seconds left to force overtime. Perry Ellis had 19 points, Naadir Tharpe added 13 and Brannen Greene scored 10, making two key baskets near the end of regulation.
"I thought momentum was on our side," Self said.
Tarik Black even scored the opening basket of overtime, but every time the Jayhawks tried to build a lead, the Wildcats had an answer — a three-point play by Foster, a free throw by Omari Lawrence, or a big putback from unheralded big man D.J. Johnson, who had nine points.
"We felt good. We felt energized," Ellis said. "We just couldn't get no stops. We couldn't get no stops in the second half and overtime."
Still, it wasn't over until Foster's two free throws with 21.9 seconds left gave Kansas State an 83-79 lead, and Wiggins missed a 3-pointer at the other end. Black missed another shot, and the Wildcats finally corralled the rebound, allowing time to run out.