Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell put up the performance of the Sweet 16 — perhaps the entire 2023 NCAA Tournament — in the Wildcats' 98-93 victory over Michigan State on Thursday.
Nowell finished the game with 20 points, an NCAA Tournament-record 19 assists, five steals and three rebounds. As if that stat line wasn't impressive enough, he completed the accomplishment after rolling his ankle roughly midway through the second half.
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Throughout the game, objective observers couldn't help but find similarities in his play to that of former NBA players Isaiah Thomas and Muggsy Bogues, who like the 5-8 Nowell made plays despite being among the smallest players on the court.
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Indeed, Thomas and Bogues were among those lauding Nowell for his record-breaking performance. Another world-class athlete taking note of Nowell: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who, like Nowell, overcame an ankle injury in the postseason to lead Kansas City to a divisional round victory over the Jaguars.
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Here is a sampling of Nowell's incredible play from Thursday, including his record-tying and -setting assists, and the game-ending sequence that saw him steal the ball and end the game with a last-second layup:
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Those plays, and many more like it, earned Nowell the adulation of the basketball world on social media. Here are some of the more notable responses:
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