Buffs Get A Gift From K-State

It had looked like the Buffs were going to drop another game outside the Coors Event Center Tuesday night when a traveling call gave them a second chance. Mookie Wright, who was basically shut-down in the second half, hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Buffs a

AP Sports Writer

DALLAS - All Pervis Pasco had to do was stand still. Or dribble. Anything but walk!

Pasco intercepted an inbounds pass in the final three seconds against Colorado, which should have given Kansas State an upset victory in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday night. Instead, he raised an arm in celebration and started to leave the court when he was whistled for traveling.

Given yet another chance with 1.8 seconds left, the Buffaloes made the Wildcats pay when James Wright banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a remarkable 77-76 victory.

After Frank Richards put Kansas State up 76-74 with a driving layup through traffic with 3.3 seconds left, all the Wildcats had to do was defend the inbounds pass and they would have become the first No. 11 seed to win a game in the 7-year history of the tournament.

Kansas State (13-17) swatted away the first throw-in, and Colorado (20-10) got the ball back with 2.6 seconds left - although the scoreboard initially showed 1.8.

Pasco caught the second inbounds pass and assumed the game was over. But his victory stroll gave the Buffaloes a final chance.

In the confusion, officials watched a replay and bumped the clock from 0.9 seconds to 1.8, although Kansas State fans were teased when they saw it briefly set at 0.2. That also gave the Buffs, who were out of timeouts, a chance to draw up their third inbounds play.

Wright came off a screen, caught the pass with no one near him and fired up his fifth 3-point try of the game. The red light surrounding the backboard flashed while the ball was in the air, indicating time had expired. The ball hit the white box behind the rim and went in, prompting a wild celebration on that end of the court - and stunned silence on the other side.

Kansas State's Gilson DeJesus pulled his jersey over his head as he walked off slowly. One disgruntled fan heaved a cup of beer onto the court.

Colorado reached 20 wins, which should earn more notice from the NCAA selection committee. The Buffs already earned high marks for beating four Top 25 teams - Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma State - and will get another chance Friday night against No. 6 Oklahoma.

CU also is playing well at the right time, having won four straight and five of six. The Buffaloes are having their best season since the 1996-97 team won 22 games. That also was the last Colorado team to make the NCAA field.

Colorado led by 10 most of the first half, then Kansas State rallied to go ahead by three at halftime. The Wildcats remained ahead until there was 7:52 remaining.

The Buffaloes were hurt when big man David Harrison, who had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks, fouled out with 1:37 left. Matt Siebrandt, who drew the foul, walked away smiling. He was even happier when his free throws with 48 seconds left put K-State back in front, 74-72.

Colorado tied it when leading scorer Michel Morandais, who was only 3-of-10, rebounded his own miss and was fouled with 20.9 seconds left. He made both to tie the game again, setting up Richards' near game-winner.

As incredible as the finish was, and as close as the game was throughout, the atmosphere didn't match. At the end of the game, only about 5,000 fans among the announced crowd of 12,000 remained.

Morandais had 14 points, eight from the foul line, and Lamar Harris had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Wright had 11 points.

Tim Ellis, who had scored a total of 27 points in his previous six games, scored 17 to lead the Wildcats. Richards had 15 and DeJesus had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Close losses were the hallmark of their season, with this one certainly making for a fitting but bittersweet end to their season. Kansas State finishes with losses in 11 of its last 13. K-State had won four of its last five opening-round games in the conference tournament, including the last two under coach Jim Wooldridge.

Colorado won for only the sixth time away from its home court.