After leading the Wildcats into the Elite Eight with 19 assists vs. the Spartans, Nowell is the toast of Manhattan and Manhattan, Kansas. Markquis Nowell put on a show Thursday. The Harlem Native didn’t disappoint. The 5-foot-8 guard from Harlem, New York, delivered his words Thursday night, leading Kansas State to a 98-93 overtime win over Michigan State to advance to the Elite Eight.
Phot Cred: CBS Sports
Nowell set a tournament record with 19 assists while scoring 20 points and stealing five rebounds. And he accomplished it despite appearing to have a badly sprained ankle midway through the second half. And then there was the game-winning alley-oop pass to a cutting Keyontae Johnson, who finished with a reverse dunk to give Kansas State a 94-92 advantage they wouldn’t surrender.
Photo Cred: USA Today
“It was just a basketball play between me and Keyontae,” Nowell said. “We knew how Michigan State plays defense. They play high up, and Keyontae just told me we got eye contact, and he was like, lob, lob. I just threw it up, and he made a great play.”
Photo Cred: ESPN
As Nowell took the ball up the court, he looked at the crowd and said, “watch this,” before pretending to argue with Tang about the play-call. Johnson finished with 22 points, and Ismael Massoud with 15 points, including several clutch baskets after regular and overtime. They were set up by Nowell, who kept knocking them down. And without Nowell’s historic performance on Thursday night, they would most likely not be 40 minutes away from the Final Four.