For the first time during the tenure of Bruce Weber, the Kansas State Wildcats are finally into the Round of 32. The Wildcats came out and put their foot down against the Creighton Bluejays, even without the services of star forward Dean Wade. But another star was born, as freshman Mike McGuirl came off the bench and scored 17 points, surpassing his previous career total of 13 points.
Their opponent is not who anyone would have expected. The Virginia Cavaliers, the number 1 overall seed, got chased out of Charlotte by a plucky UBMC Retrievers squad. The first men’s 16-seed to defeat a 1-seed ever. Now UMBC is the most darling of the potential Cinderella’s, and somehow K-State, who should be enough of a Cinderella by itself as the 9-seed, is the big bad bully - which is not someplace that the Wildcats have ever been before. They call it March Madness for a reason.
K-State and UMBC have never met on the hardwood, and the last time that K-State even faced a team from the America East conference was way back in Bob Huggins lone season in Manhattan, when K-State knocked off Vermont 59-57 in the first round of the postseason NIT (Huggins last win at K-State).
It’s hard to believe that UMBC could get as many friendly rolls tonight as they did against Virginia - seemingly everything that the Retrievers threw at the basket went in. Even if the Retrievers keep some of that magic, K-State shouldn’t have nearly as much trouble as Virginia did scoring baskets of their own. Of course, the Tulsa game is still pretty fresh in the collective memory, so anything is possible. You are in Weberville after all.
This evenings Round of 32 game is scheduled for a 6:45 p.m. CDT tip-off from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC. The game can be seen on television on truTV, or online (or mobile) via NCAA March Madness Live, with Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Grant Hill (analyst), Bill Raferty (analyst), and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) on the call. Be sure and check out Jon Morse’s full How To Watch post for more details.
The game can be heard over-the-air on the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the call (you can also listen online for free at TuneIn.com or at KStateSports.com). You can also listen to the national broadcast from Westwood One with Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and John Thompson (analyst) for free on the March Madness Live App or at www.ncaa.com/marchmadnesslive. Satellite radio, with the national broadcast, is available on Sirius 138, XM 202, and “Internet” 963.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (23-11, 10-8 Big 12)
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #14 Makol Mawien
UMBC (25-10, 12-4 America East)
G: #11 K.J. Maura
G: #10 Jairus Lyles
F: #13 Joe Sherburne
F: #30 Daniel Akin
F: #33 Arkel Lamar