Kansas State had to play a man short in its biggest game of the season. The way top-seeded Syracuse played in the second half, it really didn't matter.
A day after they found out leading rebounder Jamar Samuels would be held out because of an eligibility issue, the eighth-seeded Wildcats more than handled themselves on the boards. But they couldn't stop the Orange from scoring in the second half and lost 75-59 on Saturday in the third round of the East Regional.
''We didn't lose because we lost Jamar. Let me get that straight now. Because Syracuse is minus a very good player, too,'' Kansas State coach Frank Martin said, referring to Orange top rebounder Fab Melo, declared ineligible by the school this week for the NCAA tournament.
''We just lost the toughest guy on our team. He's our toughest kid. He gives us the ability to make some shots against that zone. It gives us a frontline guy who's a fifth-year senior to deal with the adjustme...