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Kansas State’s run puts spotlight on Jerome Tang’s magnetic personality

Kansas State is one win away from the Final Four, one thing few noticed coming originally of the 2022-23 school basketball season. No, the Wildcats usually are not precisely a Cinderella workforce like their opponent Florida Atlantic in Saturday’s Elite Eight recreation (6:09 p.m. ET), having earned a No. 3 seed on this 12 months’s match because of a 26-9 common season document. But their presence right here is nonetheless a shock.

Kansas State was picked to complete final within the Big 12 earlier than the season started, and all of the Wildcats have completed all through longtime Baylor assistant Jerome Tang’s first 12 months as head coach is defy expectations from nearly everybody besides, nicely, Tang himself.

“I’m not coming right here to rebuild [this program]. I got here to raise, and it will not take lengthy,” Tang stated at his introductory information convention final March.

How does one elevate a program coming off three straight dropping seasons? For Tang, it meant putting in a tradition of what the devoutly spiritual man calls “loopy religion.”

“When you like individuals, it is wonderful what you’ll be able to accomplish,” Tang advised TBS after Kansas State’s thrilling extra time victory over Michigan State within the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

One means during which Tang has fostered that love inside his program has gone viral lately — his workforce’s pregame routine of listening, clapping and dancing in sync to the rap track “Low Down” by Lil Baby.

After the Wildcats’ win Thursday, the track blared once more and Tang celebrated along with his gamers. Tang then confirmed up late to the postgame information convention because of the celebration and instantly launched right into a speech concerning the significance of religion on his workforce.

That bond amongst Kansas State gamers was essentially the most evident Thursday when Markquis Nowell, after debating with Tang which play to run, noticed his teammate Keyontae Johnson lower towards the ring and threw an ideal lob move to cap off a historic night in Madison Square Garden for the New York native point guard.

Afterward, Tang joked that his shouting with Nowell was a intently guarded piece of technique earlier than admitting that the argument was actual.

Those scenes from the center of Manhattan, N.Y., have put Tang’s personality on full show for a large viewers, although these again residence in Manhattan, Kansas have witnessed that every one season.

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