The door underneath the Powercat stayed shut 26 minutes after the end. Players and coaches only, a precious time to process the shock. Wasn’t supposed to be this way. Not yet.
Behind that door they cried. This should have been the beginning. Instead, the end. They’ll never have it like this again. It’s all memories now.
Through that door they could hear the hopeful and confident screams of two more teams running out of their own locker rooms and into the NCAA Tournament. The hope out in that hallway was gone inside Kansas State’s locker room after a 70-64 loss to UC Irvine in the first round of a tournament that will stay with this group forever.