Kansas State, after sliding to fifth place in the Big 12 over the last couple of weeks of the regular season, still managed to hang on and receive an invitation to the 2014 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championships.
The Wildcats (22-8, 9-7) will travel to Lincoln where they'll take on Utah (19-12) at 4:30pm Friday. That match will be the champions of the Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra (28-5) facing the host Nebraska Cornhuskers (29-9). Saturday at 7pm -- right during the pivotal Baylor-Kansas State football game -- the winners will face off for the right to head to Seattle for the regional round and a potential date with third-seeded Washington on December 12. Should the Wildcats make it that far and survive, the regional final would be on December 13 at 9:30pm on ESPNU.
Four other Big 12 squads made the cut. Big 12 champs Texas (23-2, 15-1) host a first-round pod, meeting Northwestern State (16-16) on Thursday night. The other half of that grouping is Arizona State and Texas A&M, which means Saturday in Austin could be... sketchy. Oklahoma (20-10, 10-6) travels to Eugene to meet Louisiana State; Oregon and Santa Clara meet in the other game there on Thursday. Both Texas and Oklahoma are in the Minneapolis Regional.
Iowa State (18-9, 10-6) gets to host a regional on December 12-13, but their first two rounds will be on the road in Champaign. They'll take on Western Kentucky in the first round, and would then meet the winner of the Illinois-Murray State showdown. Also in the Ames Regional is Kansas (22-8, 10-6); they host first- and second-round action in Lawrence, facing Arkansas-Little Rock on Thursday before a potential date with the winner of the Creighton-Oregon State match which precedes their own.
Aside from Washington and Texas, the top seeds are #1 Stanford (in the Ames Regional) and #4 Wisconsin (in the Louisville Regional).