Today, we're going to lead off by talking about other things. There's a lot of college sports going on in the Kansas City area this weekend that doesn't involve K-State, strangely enough. Since we don't have any other place to put this, we'll note that the Division III men's and women's soccer championships are today and Saturday at Swope Soccer Village, which is weird since there aren't any Division III teams any closer to Kansas City than Graceland in Lamoni, Iowa. The women's semifinals pit Messiah (21-0-2) against our former conference mates Washington-St. Louis (20-2-0) at 11am while Williams (19-1-2) meets Centre (21-1-1) at 1:30; at 5pm the men's semifinals begin with Oneonta State (19-3-1) taking on Amherst (17-1-1) and then Calvin (24-0-1) will collide with Loras (17-4-1) at 7:30. The finals on Saturday are at 1:30 for the women and 5:30 for the men. You will, of course, be otherwise occupied for those matches. But if you're in KC and you're bored today, there's something to do.
Meanwhile, Rockhurst's men (18-2-3) were also in NCAA action last night, falling 1-0 to top-seeded Cal Poly-Pomona (17-2-3) in the NCAA Division II semifinals in Pensacola, Fla. (full video replay) Cal Poly-Pomona faces Pfeiffer (24-0) in the final at noon Saturday; the Falcons advanced on a golden goal Thursday night over Charleston (WV).
In volleyball, Rockhurst (32-3) had better results, as the second seeded Hawks won their opening-round tilt with Saginaw Valley State (22-9) in a clean 3-0 sweep. They'll play third seeded Lewis (31-4) at 6:30 tonight; the Hawks won 3-2 at Lewis during the regular season, then lost to the Flyers 3-2 three weeks later in the GLVC tournament. Should be good. Central Missouri fell in four sets against Wayne State (NE) last night, while Southwest Minnesota State swept Washburn, both matches in Saint Paul, Minn.; that eliminates the MIAA from the tournament.
In the NAIA, MidAmerica Nazarene is still alive in their national volleyball tournament, while both MANC and Missouri Valley play in the national men's soccer semifinals tonight in Delray Beach, Fla. The Pioneers (17-5-1) will be in a battle of Kansas City suburbs vs Saint Louis suburbs as they clash with Lindenwood-Belleville (17-7-0), while Missouri Valley (20-2-1) meets Rio Grande (21-1-0). Those links are to tonight's streams.
And finally, the big one: Emporia State (11-2) visits Northwest Missouri State (12-0) at 1pm Saturday in Maryville for the Division II football Super Region III final (Blair Kerkhoff at the Star). Winner gets a berth in the NCAA Division II semifinals. Northwest would host if they win; Emporia would travel, unless Tuskegee upsets West Georgia on Saturday in which case it's anyone's guess where they'll play. If the winner wins that semifinal next week, they'll be the effective host for the D-II title game in two weeks at Sporting Park.
In our Coaching Carousel, Missouri and Memphis are now off the board, while Miami is celebrating Mark Richt's arrival. And East Carolina suddenly fired Ruffin McNeill.
More of that Luke Thompson weirdo, as we pick five more games in the final regular-season installment of FEPO.
Ken Corbitt at the Capital-Journal tells us everything we need to know about the Mountaineers.
Matt Brown of Sports on Earth provides his weekend picks. He has a rather surprising pick for the 3:30 game on FOX Sports 1...
Enemy perspective: Cam Huffman of the Beckley Register-Herald previews the Wildcats for his readers in southern West Virginia. Meanwhile, Bill West of the Pittsburgh Tribune discusses what set up West Virginia's winning streak, focusing on senior leadership while sort of glossing over the fact that West Virginia's conference schedule was basically the same as K-State's -- the Oklahoma schools and the private schools early, the rest late. Lastly, Nicole Curtin at the Daily Athenaeum checks in with a preview.
Kevin Haskin talked with former KU coach Glen Mason about the rise of K-State football under Bill Snyder.
The Star's Kellis Robinett preps for tonight's tilt with Georgia, and notes that the staff is being very careful with D.J. Johnson and Dante Williams..
Ken Corbitt, meanwhile, reports on Carlbe Ervin's adjustment to Division I.
Bre Lewis, uncharacteristically, failed to get to double figures last night. No matter. Kindred Wesemann poured in 19, which is more than Texas-Arlington scored in the entire first half, as the Wildcats cruised to a 61-41 win at Bramlage. The last time K-State held an opponent to 12 first-half points? Kansas, last year at the Big 12 tournament. Heheh.
Here's Jeff Mittie's post-game presser. Next up, the ladies play a road game at Chicago State (1-6) on Saturday, which came about largely because they needed a road opponent Saturday since they can't play at Bramlage. Some other thing going on in the adjacent parking lot, I think.
At 4:30, K-State's attempt to get somewhere in the post-season begins as they take on the Wichita State Shockers in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Lincoln. A live stream is provided by the Huskers, who the Cats would almost certainly face tomorrow if they can just get past their in-state rivals. The Wildcats played in the opening pod in Lincoln last year as well, and were swept in the first round by Utah.
Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal-Star previews tonight's matches, the other one being Nebraska-Harvard.
We're just dusting off the ol' track header so it feels loved and wanted. Why? Because one week from today the indoor track schedule starts, that's why.
In soccer news, Mike Dibbini has swiped forward Abby Sieperda on a transfer from Arkansas. Sieperda, from Shawnee-Mill Valley, will be a redshirt junior as the Wildcats embark on their maiden voyage. She's got a very impressive youth resume, so this looks like a good program-building acquisition.