MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State dropped back-to-back games to highly-ranked teams, lost one of its top players to a foot injury and experienced a heartbreaking defeat to bitter rival Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse.

In other words, the perfect setup for routing the No. 4 team in the country.

The Wildcats rebounded from their lousy start to Big 12 play by shutting down Sooners star Trae Young, coalescing behind Barry Brown and freshman Cartier Diarra, and rolling to an 87-69 victory on Tuesday that has pushed coach Bruce Weber’s team back into the NCAA tournament picture.

Not to mention, it gave them a groundswell of confidence.

MORE: Michigan State, Indiana face off in Big Ten battle, Bonnies seek big road win

“I knew we would be fine. I know this team. I know these guys,” Brown said. “Nobody lost faith in anybody. We’re still a good team and we showed it. We’ve dealt with losses before, even in past seasons we had some tough losses, and we were able to bounce back. I knew our guys would be fine.”

Better than fine. They were downright excellent.

Brown poured in 24 points, the third time in four games he’s had at least that much. Diarra had 16 points, and has averaged 17 in the three games since point guard Kamau Stokes went down. And a team that has become known for defense rather than offense over the years eclipsed 80 points for the second time in three games.

The fact that the defense was still there against Oklahoma made it more impressive.

MORE: Smart talks how Texas has handled aftermath of Jones’ leukemia diagnosis