Kansas State's historic March Madness win gets shoutout from sports greats: "I believe!"
New York, New York - It was a special night for Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell who caught the attention of several high-profile athletes after putting up the performance of the Sweet 16, and perhaps the entire 2023 NCAA Tournament!
The Big Apple native was the highlight of the Wildcats' overtime 98-93 win against the Spartans on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Nowell set a March Madness record with a massive 19 assists while also scoring 20 points, five steals, and three rebounds.
If that stat wasn't impressive enough, Nowell achieved the accomplishment after rolling his ankle during the second half of the showdown.
Pushing through the pain with heart and elite athleticism, Nowell broke the internet with reactions from pro sports stars around the country.
Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes tweeted three muscle arm emojis and tagged Nowell, following a previous tweet of encouragement that the 5-foot-8 baller Nowell would overcome his ankle injury.
"He’s got it! I believe!!" Mahomes wrote.
NBA champion Kevin Durant chimed in too: "That was a legendary display of controlling a basketball game Markquis. GG’s."
NBA champion Isaiah Thomas wrote: "They gon be mad that they have to give em a chance at the next level. You know the small guards they try not and give ‘em a fair shake. Keep doing your thing killa." Thomas, like Nowell, is one of the smallest but illest players on the hardwood.
"20 points 19 assists and he’s still dancing," NBA star Tyrone Muggsy Bogues tweeted.
"#heartoverheight," he added
Kansas State advances to the Elite 8 Round
With the win, Kansas State has now advanced to the Elite 8 round of March Madness. It will make their 13th Elite 8 appearance in program history, and the first since 2018.
The No. 3 Wildcats will take on No. 9 Florida Atlantic on Friday, after the Owls upset No. 4 Tennessee on Thursday as well.
The Elite 8 showdown between Kansas State and Florida Atlantic is set for 6:09 PM ET.
Cover photo: Collage: Jacob Kupferman, Michael Reaves, & Carmen Mandato / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP