It’s the first Sweet Sixteen appointment of Bruce Weber’s tenure at Kansas State, and the assembled deities of the multiverse have decided to reward the Wildcats with the most hated set of Wildcats on the planet: the ones from Kentucky.
Most people are pegging K-State’s chances tonight on the health of Dean Wade, and as if this writing that’s still an open question. But with roughly the same amount of preparation, the Wildcats came out with a solid game plan and played lights-out against Creighton last week without Wade’s input. Don’t rule out a win even without his participation.
Kansas State (24-11, 10-8 Big 12), the ninth seed, faces the fifth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (26-10, 10-8 SEC) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It’s the ninth time the two teams have met. Eight of those times, Kentucky won; in the remaining game they met K-State in the 1951 NCAA Championship Game, won, and then received the death penalty 18 months later because Kentucky players were being paid to shave points during the massive gambling scandal which cost schools such as CCNY and NYU their status as major basketball programs. Center Bill Spivey played on the 1951 team, scored 22 points in the game against K-State, and won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award, and was basically banned from big-time basketball once the hammer came down in 1952.
(In fairness to Spivey, perjury charges brought against him by a New York grand jury for allegedly lying about receiving money during the 1950-51 season were eventually dropped, and the NBA did settle a lawsuit he filed against the league although he remained banned for life. So it’s possible he was innocent. Still... we hold grudges here, because it’s sports.)
The other Wildcats are a 5½-point favorite, with an over of 137. That parses out to around a 71-66 Kentucky win. OddsShark concurs, and gives K-State even less of a chance, projecting a 74-66 margin.
Thursday, March 22 at approximately 8:47pm CT (30 minutes after the conclusion of Nevada-Loyola), Phillips Arena (21,000) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Only available on the secondary market at this point, ranging anywhere from $74 to your first-born. That gets you in for both games.
CBS with Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, and Lisa Byington.
Two options: K-State Sports Network, with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber, or Westwood One with Brandon Gaudin and John Thompson. The latter team will be carried on the satellite feed (Sirius 137/XM 201).
Video streaming via March Madness Live (also available as a mobile app), Hulu, CBS All Access (subject to regional availability), and Fubo. Again, K-State claims audio streaming of its own broadcast is available via K-StateHD.tv, but nah. The NCAA is another horrible entity using StatBroadcast, so you’ll have to get live stats from a regular website like ESPN.