MANHATTAN, Kansas – Fans of the state of Kansas call it "the octagon of Doom," and Oklahoma is trapped on all eight sides.
The Sooners had a 68-53 knockout as the Wildcats celebrated their victory by winning the Big 12 title belt. Kansas State won a share of the regular season conference championship – its first since 2013.
A trio of Wildcat seniors – Barry Brown Jr., Dean Wade and Kamau Stokes – combined for 45 points at the Senior Night event in Manhattan. Brown and Wade kissed the ground when they left for the last time.
Yet they stayed there some 40 minutes later, taking selfies with students and preparing purple and white confetti on the court of the Bramlage Coliseum.
"We knew that the environment would probably be the best we have experienced all season," said junior striker Kristian Doolittle. "They had a lot on the line."
Just before Lon Kruger spoke after the match in the OU dressing room, the voice of Kansas State coach Bruce Weber exploded through the tunnels.
Weber thanked Wildcat worshipers for their unfailing support in the gym where Kruger's No. 12 jersey was hanging under the rafters. Kruger coached K-State from 1986 to 1990 after winning two Big Eight Player of the Year trophies as a Wildcat in 1973 and 1974.
"Winning a conference championship is great for Bruce," said Kruger. "He deserves it, and then this group of seniors and how special they are, happy for them."