WICHITA, Kan. (Kansas State Athletics) – The Cinderella run of the No. 7 Bleed Green continued Saturday afternoon, as the North Texas Alumni team used a decisive 31-9 second quarter to take control of the game and end the run of the Purple & Black Team, 87-62, in the second round of The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Wichita Regional at Koch Arena.
The Bleed Green connected on 50 percent (31-of-62) from the field, including 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from 3-point range, with four players in double figures, while the Purple & Black hit on just 36 percent (20-of-55) from the field, including 22.7 percent (5-of-22) from long range.
The K-State Alumni Team was led by Mike McGuirl and Jacob Pullen, who finished with 18 points each. McGuirl went 6-of-12 from the field and grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds. Thomas Gipson III added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. The trio combined for 53 of the team’s 62 points.
The Bleed Green, which upset No. 2 seed Eberlein Drive, 79-78, in the first game on Friday (July 22), were led by Brandon Jefferson’s all-around effort of 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Purple & Black were hoping to seize the momentum from their last-second 75-73 victory over the Lone Star Legends on Pullen’s game-winning 3-pointer on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018.
The two teams were tied 22-all after the first quarter, but it was the decisive 31-8 second quarter that proved to be the difference. Trailing 53-30 at the halftime, the Purple & Black scored 18 of the first 25 points in the third quarter to close to within 60-48 on a pair of Pullen free throws with 3 minutes remaining. However, the Bleed Green finished off the quarter with 7 straight points to lead 67-48.
The Purple & Black falls to 4-6 all-time in the TBT.
Bleed Green will take on the winner of the second game between No. 4 seed Air Raiders (Texas Tech Alumni) and top-seed Aftershocks (Wichita State Alumni) in the Wichita Regional Championship Game on Monday at 8 p.m., CT.
The winner of the Wichita Regional will face the winner of the Omaha Regional in the quarterfinals in Wichita on Wednesday, July 27. Semifinals will be in Dayton, Ohio at UD Arena on Saturday, July 30, and the $1M winner-take-all championship game on Aug. 2.
For more information on Purple & Black and this year’s TBT, visit TheTournament.com.