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Small Ball: The unexpected catalyst of Kansas State's magical Elite Eight run | The Kansas City Star

Kansas State would rather have Dean Wade healthy and in the starting lineup than injured and on the bench, but his absence has unlocked a versatile rotation that opponents can't seem to handle.

The Wildcats lack size, depth and scoring punch without their 6-foot-10 all-conference forward and best player in Dean Wade. They also gain athleticism, speed and defensive swagger.

Creighton (59 points) had no answers for it. Neither did Maryland-Baltimore County (43) or Kentucky (58). Bruce Weber's K-State team held all three well below their scoring averages and is now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2010.