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NEW YORK — Markquis Nowell chose the right time to have the performance of his life.

Twenty points and 19 assists in a 98-93 overtime win over 7-seed Michigan State, a new NCAA Tournament single-game record and the most assists through the Sweet Sixteen since 1984 with 42.

Nowell’s efforts were spectacular as usual with lookaway passes, alley-oops and stepback jumpers in his hometown of New York and performing at less than 100% after rolling his ankle early in the second half.

His most famous assist is the play where Nowell could be seen arguing with head coach Jerome Tang during the last minute of overtime and then throws a lob to senior forward Keyontae Johnson.

“You can’t tell them because then the next team would know,” Tang said to Nowell right before his answer.

“It was just a basketball play between me and Keyontae,” Nowell said after the fact. He said the team knew that MSU’s defense plays higher up the court to the ball.

“We got eye contact and he was like ‘lob, lob’. I just threw it up and he made a great play.”

Throughout the game, he could also be seen stating ‘this is my city’ after some big-time plays.

“Yea it is, yea it is,” he said after the game answering if he said that during the game.

“Today was a special one man. I gotta give a lot of credit to my teammates for battling, for fighting through adversity when we were down.”

“I just know that I’m blessed and I’m grateful.”

“He brings everybody confidence,” Johnson said.

“Everybody seen how he was trying to fight through his injury and we just wanted to fight back for him.”

At one point during the offseason, the Wildcats had two players on the roster, Ish Massoud and Markquis Nowell, when Jerome Tang took over as a college head coach for the first time after almost 20 years as an assistant.

The two players stayed committed to K-State after spending a year in Manhattan transferring in from Wake Forest from Massoud and Arkansas-Little Rock for Nowell.

Both had legendary performances and Massoud hit the shot to help Nowell set the record for assists. Massoud, an East Harlem native, had a season-high 15 points off the bench to help K-State get the win.

The leadership and selflessness of those two players and the program as a whole is a primary reason for their recent and sudden success.

“Credit to God, credit to my teammates, they got the belief in me to find me and get me shots and all I had to do was knock it down,” Massoud said.

“It’s surreal, I don’t think it hit me yet.”

“I just wanted to do it for my teammates,” Nowell said. “I wasn’t gonna let a little injury like this that happens on the basketball court all the time to stop me from playing in the Sweet Sixteen and advancing to the Elite Eight.”

“I wouldn’t have 19 assists if they didn’t make any shots.