In the midst of one of the greatest performances in men’s NCAA tournament history, one play caused waves as the signature moment.
With less than a minute left in overtime and the teams knotted at 92, Kansas State senior point guard Markquis Nowell was headed toward a record-setting performance. From just inside the center court logo, the senior point guard threw a lob that was sent home for a reverse dunk by a cutting Keyontae Johnson.
Just seconds prior to the pass, Nowell appeared to be arguing with head coach Jerome Tang. Some on social media believed that it was an intentional move designed to lull the Spartan defenders to sleep.
However, Tang told Sports Illustrated's Richard Johnson after the game that it “wasn't a dummy call or a fake out. I was calling one thing and Nowell was calling something else. Nowell noticed Johnson out of the corner of his eye and threw the alley oop because of their connection.”
Intended or not, Nowell caught junior guard A.J. Hoggard napping on the baseline, which allowed Johnson to slash to the rim and finish with a thunderous dunk.
The play gave the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 98–93 win.