For a team that had been on the short end of so many close games, ISU head coach Greg McDermott couldn't have been more proud of his depleted squad.
"They (Kansas State) were switching some ball screens and Diante took advantage of some mismatches in the overtime period," McDermott said. "If we shot the ball like we did today all year we are talking about a much different team, because we finally made some shots today. We beat a very talented and tough team and I am so proud of these guys."
The Cyclones proved they were not intimidated by the nation's No.5-ranked team by holding a 42-33 advantage at the break. ISU jumped out to a 12-7 lead by making 4-of-its-first-5 shots from the floor, but the Wildcats picked up the pressure and went on an 11-0 run to take an 18-12 lead with 13:14 left in the first half.
ISU started to creep back into the game behind Craig Brackins, who had the hot hand early for the Cyclones by pouring in 12 first-half points.
KSU was still clinging to a 25-23 lead until ISU blasted open a 16-4 run to go ahead 39-29 with 1:47 left before the break. LaRon Dendy came off the bench to score three baskets on putbacks and Scott Christopherson and Marquis Gilstrap each hit key 3-pointers to ignite the Cyclones.
The Wildcats shot just 31.4 percent from the field in the opening period, but the Cyclones could have made the deficit larger if it wasn't for 10 first-half miscues.
ISU was prepared and weathered the initial KSU second-half surge. The Wildcats quickly cut the lead to three points, but Dendy scored on back-to-back possessions to push the ISU advantage back up to seven points (50-43) with 16:01 remaining in the game.
ISU again improved its lead to nine points (56-47) behind a Justin Hamilton basket 12:54 remaining in the game and continued to maintain its lead during the middle chunk of the second half.
ISU was trying to hang on to its lead while being handcuffed by foul trouble. With just under six minutes remaining in the contest, ISU had four players with four fouls (Christopherson, Brackins, Dendy, Hamilton).
After KSU made it a one-point game, the Cyclones answered with two-straight buckets from Garrett and Hamilton to go back up 69-64 with 4:40 left in the contest.
With 2:25 left in the game, Brackins picked up his fifth foul and sent Jamar Samuels to the line. Samuels missed both shots to allow the Cyclones to cling to a 73-71 lead. After Garrett made one free-throw on the other end for ISU, Denis Clemente came up huge with a deep trey to tie the game for the first time in the second half at 74-74 with 1:34 remaining in the contest.
Gilstrap missed on a drive with 0:30 seconds left, giving the Wildcats the chance for the final shot. Pullen pulled up from deep, but missed wide to send the game into overtime for the second straight game.
Garrett got ISU on the board first with a lay-up, but ISU lost Dendy for the game when he picked up his fifth foul, sending Samuels to the line, where he made one of two shots to keep ISU in the lead (76-75) with 3:46 remaining in overtime.
Christopherson ended a scoring drought for both teams with a runner in the paint to give ISU a 78-75 lead with 2:01 left in overtime. But Clemente was clutch again, drilling a sideline runner to shrink the ISU lead to one point (78-77).
But Garrett answered with an acrobatic lay-up with the shot clock running down to move ISU ahead 80-77 with less than a minute remaining.
Gilstrap was then fouled with 0:09 seconds left and made one shot to give ISU a four-point lead (83-79). But Pullen was fouled with 0:03 seconds on a 3-point attempt, making all three charity shots to shrink the lead to one-point (83-82).
Christopherson was immediately fouled and buried both shots to prelude Pullen's final attempt that was off the mark.
The win also ended an eight-game losing streak in Bramlage Coliseum.
The Cyclones had five players finish in double figures led by Brackins' 19 points and 12 boards. It was Brackins' 31st double-double of his career, tying for fifth all-time in school history. Gilstrap finished with 13 points and 13 boards. His rebounding total gives him a 10.25 rebounding average in league play, ending the season as the Big 12 leader on the boards. It was his 11th double-double of the season.
ISU will play Texas Wednesday night (March 10) in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.