SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Kansas State men's basketball program will take a long look at themselves after a tough loss to 13 seed UC-Irvine 70-64 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Anteaters got back-to-back 3-pointers from Evan Leonard to spark the deciding run in a No. 4 seed Kansas State for the first tournament win in school history.
Kansas State led by four points midway through the second half before the two long shots from Leonard turning the tide with a streak of 12 consecutive points. The Wildcats cut the deficit to two points, before Max Hazzard hit a corner 3 with 1:25 to play to make it 66-61.
The Wildcats missed star forward Dean Wade, who was sidelined by a foot injury and senior guard Barry Brown sat for 15 minutes during the first half due to two early fouls. Kamau Stokes led Kansas State with 18 points.
After being winning a share of the Big 12 conference and being one year removed from making a run to the Elite Eight, the fourth-seeded Wildcats (25-9) had a short stay in the tournament as they struggled with the Anteaters zone defense.
UC-Irvine will play Oregon on Sunday.