WVU overcomes bad start to top Kansas State

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The West Virginia Mountaineers are moving on to the Big 12 Tournament title game — but it sure wasn’t easy.

West Virginia’s Esa Ahmad made the second of two free throws with 20.2 seconds left, and an off-balance 3-pointer by Kansas State’s Kamau Stokes was off at the buzzer, allowing the No. 11 Mountaineers to escape with a 51-50 victory in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals Friday night.

Tarik Phillip tied the game for the Mountaineers (26-7) with a 3-pointer with 1:41 left, and the Wildcats (20-13) came up empty at the other end. Ahmad was fouled during a mad scramble for a rebound moments later, and he clanked his first free throw before making his second.

The Mountaineers will now face No. 23 Iowa State in the tournament final Saturday night.