With Kansas State leading Nebraska by three in the closing moments of Wednesday’s game at the Devaney Center, Wildcats coach Frank Martin instructed Jacob Pullen to foul Lance Jeter before he could square up his shoulders for a game-tying shot.
The foul came with 4.9 seconds remaining. Jeter responded by making one free throw and intentionally missing the second off the backboard. Pullen immediately drew a foul on the ensuing inbound play, sank two free throws on the other end and K-State won 61-57.
Afterward, Martin was asked about his philosophy on fouling late in games with a three-point lead. As long as the clock doesn’t show more than 5 seconds, he is all for it.
“Every time,” he said. “Every time. The only time since 1993 that I haven’t done that was the first overtime against Xavier (in last year’s Sweet 16). Guess what happened? Ol’ (Jordan) Crawford jumped up and made a three.
“I just said the story earlier today to two people that were doing our TV for ESPNU. I told them that since 93 I have fouled every single time. Now, we didn’t handle it real good. We allowed the ball to get across the half-court line too fast. We should have matched up higher up on the floor and made them dribble the ball the length of the backcourt. Then that shortens the game a little bit. Still, we do it every time.”