“That's not the sportsmanship you like to see, but that's them,” one K-State player said.
Some Kansas State players are upset with their Kentucky counterparts after the losing Wildcats failed to shake the hands of the winning Wildcats at the conclusion of Thursday’s Sweet 16 game.
K-State prevailed in a tightly contested game, 61–58, to advance to its first Elite Eight since 2010. Kentucky had a chance to tie at the buzzer but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s three-pointer went begging. After the buzzer, John Calipari and his team walked off the court without congratulating the winners, a move that didn’t sit well with K-State.
“On that situation, it’s all about respect,” Amaad Wainright told ESPN. “That’s what it should have been—all about respect.”
“That’s not the sportsmanship you like to see, but that’s them,” Levi Stockard III said. “They just walked off the court. I don’t know what it was. I don’t know.”
Calipari said he tried to shake hands with the players but they were too busy celebrating.
“Well, I went down to shake their hands, too, and they were turned and celebrating so that I walked off,” Calipari said in his postgame press conference. “I had no disrespect for anything, just that they were celebrating and I was happy for them. I walked off, too. But I went down, I shook all the coaches’ hands, I went down to shake their hands—which I understood.”
K-State will face Loyola-Chicago in the Elite Eight on Saturday, the first ever No. 9 vs. No. 11 matchup.