Why Jerome Tang didn’t want students storming the court after beating KU

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MANHATTAN (KSNT) – K-State’s 75-70 upset win against the fourth-ranked Jayhawks on Monday night had many similarities to Jerome Tang’s first Sunflower Showdown about a year before.

Both games were played on ESPN’s Big Monday. Both games required overtime. Both games resulted in Wildcat victories in Bramlage Coliseum. However, the Wildcats’ 2024 rivalry win was different in at least one major way compared to the previous season: The student section stayed in the student section.

K-State called a timeout with 5.9 seconds left in overtime, as KU put all walk-ons into the game and appeared to wave the white flag due to the Wildcats’ five-point lead. During that timeout, K-State assistant coach Jareem Dowling was pleading with the students to stay in their seats. The students listened, and Coach Tang explained after the game.

“When you can beat a nationally ranked team, Baylor was top 10 and Kansas was top five, and your fans don’t storm the court, we’re building an expectation of: these are the games that we’re going to win and we’re going to be that kind of a program,” Tang said. “I never see them storm the court at Allen Fieldhouse. I never see them storm the court at Duke and at North Carolina, and I don’t believe there’s any reason why, given time and the opportunity, that we can’t build that kind of program here in Manhattan, Kansas.”

Watch Tang’s full comments here.

It’s not the first time fans heard of this mission from Coach Tang. After students did storm the court in 2023’s upset win against Kansas, Tang grabbed a microphone, stood on a table and told fans, “From now on, expect to win.”

In the same postgame speech during Tang’s first season, he told fans the win was not about the opponent. It was simply about the Wildcats getting the win. It relates to a goal of Coach Tang’s to get students to quit with the vulgar chant infamously aimed at in-state rival KU.

“I heard [that chant] when I was walking out and I was not very happy,” Tang said after his second victory against the Jayhawks. “We will get there, where that is no longer a thing because we will care more about K-S-U than anybody else.”

Kansas State improved to 11-0 in overtime games under Jerome Tang with Monday’s win, including 6-0 this season.

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