Over the years, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have wow’ed NFL fans the world over with their cavalcade of out-of-the-box trick plays. But, apparently, the game of football isn’t the only sport influenced by the reigning Super Bowl champion’s offensive creativity.
The Kansas State men’s basketball team earned a shoutout from Mahomes on Sunday after taking a page out of the Chiefs playbook in the closing moments of a 75–69 round of 32 win over No. 6-seed Kentucky in the NCAA tournament. With the third-seeded Wildcats up 73–69 with 26.7 seconds left in regulation, senior forward Keyontae Johnson looked to inbound the ball while his four teammates lined up along the baseline. Three players ran up the floor as decoys while the fourth, senior guard Markquis Nowell, ran a few feet before securing the inbounds pass and getting fouled.
Nowell proceeded to drill both free throws to salt the game away and propel K-State to its first Sweet 16 appearance in five years. When asked after the game where the crafty inbounds play came from, first-year Wildcats coach Jerome Tang admitted he was influenced by two factors: his time at Baylor, where he was an assistant for nearly 20 years, and, none other than, the Chiefs and their Super Bowl MVP.
“Yeah, well we stole it from somebody else, but yeah. We actually call it ‘Mahomes’ for Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Super Bowl champion, Kansas City Chiefs,” Tang explained.
As video of Tang’s answer made the rounds on social media, Mahomes reacted to the Wildcats drawing inspiration from his name and game with a tweet of three muscle arm emojis on Twitter.
Needless to say, the two-time MVP seemed to appreciate the shoutout from Tang and K-State, who will now move on to play No. 7-seed Michigan State in the Sweet 16 next week.
It remains to be seen if the Wildcats end up breaking out the play again during the rest of their run. But one thing fans shouldn’t expect is a detailed walk-through from Tang, who jokingly declined to explain the play post-game.
“No because then the other team would know the next time we have to use it,” he said.