So. How ‘bout dat?
Suddenly, and deservedly, Bruce Weber is a hero. An eternity of being jacked by Kentucky is over. And amazingly, despite a basketball history which has only seven other teams reaching the Elite Eight more frequently than K-State and in contradiction to the sense of aimlessness many feel surrounds the program, two of the Elite Eight appearances which your benevolent despot actually remembers have occurred this decade.
It’s a good morning.
We’re going to get right to the links, because oh holy bejeebus there’s a lot of them.
- Our own recap from the inestimable Luke Sobba, who was barely able to type. His drinks are on you.
- The official athletic department report.
- Corbin McGuire reports on brotherhood in today’s Sports Extra.
- At the Eagle (and the Star), Kellis Robinett explains Xavier Sneed becoming the hero K-State needed.
- Also at the Eagle, Taylor Eldridge gives us a belated introduction to one of last night’s quiet heroes, Mike McGuirl.
- The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff focuses on a small but critically-important moment: Cartier Diarra alertly calling timeout to avoid a jump ball situation with 46 seconds to play.
- Kerkhoff also checked in with an update on Dean Wade, who did not return after eight first-half minutes.
- Robinett’s gamer.
- Post-game from the Capital-Journal’s Tim Bisel.
- It might surprise you to see takes like this coming from our sister blog A Sea of Blue, but here we are: Jeremy Chisenhall, offering three takes, can’t figure out how Kentucky even survived the first half.
- At least one Kentucky player isn’t blaming the refs, which we have to confess is a welcome change from the usual blue-blood mantra. The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Jerry Tipton reports that Hamidou Diallo disagreed with a call here and there, but knows Kentucky just got beaten. (Of course, Calipari sort of whined about the physicality, but, see, that’s why they called over fifty fouls, John.)
- Also from Tipton, Kentucky players also know they lost because they can’t shoot free throws.
- The LHL’s John Clay offers three takeaways from the Kentucky loss, including the observation that K-State effectively took Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out of the contest.
- P.J. Washington is taking the blame on himself for Kentucky’s exit, reports Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
- From Ray Glier, special to the LHL: K-State had a plan. They executed it, and only afterward did they explain their evil plan to the defeated hero. No Bond villain, Bruce Weber.
- Fletcher Page of the Courier-Journal with a recap and a game ball for Xavier Sneed.
- SB Nation’s Morgan Moriarity called it an ugly game. Hmph. It was beautiful.
- The AP story, via the Los Angeles Times.
- ESPN’s Alex Scarborough reports on K-State’s irritation at Kentucky simply walking off the court post-game rather than shaking hands.
- Scarborough also checks in with K-State’s next opponent, the Ramblers of Loyola, who shared K-State’s sense of disrespect this week.
- After the shot he took at K-State post-game on Twitter (expressing his shock that a team “as limited as Kansas State is in the Elite Eight”), we should link to his post-game story, but we will.
- Also at USA Today, Scott Gleeson segues from last night into tomorrow, touching on the win before briefly previewing the Loyola game.
- Once again, we break our paywall rule: CL Brown of the Athletic says K-State’s fight outweighed Kentucky’s youth.
- Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated dives into how five short K-State guards outplayed Kentucky’s bigs in the closing moments.
- Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hands over the title to Catlanta to the purple version.
- Also at the AJC, Ken Sugiura goes somewhere nobody else much bothered to post-game: he talks about Ernie Barrett’s sweet, sweet revenge.
- Also also at the AJC, Mark Bradley is a journalist after EMAW’s heart, saying K-State won because they just played harder and wanted it more.
- Matt Norlander of CBS does some math, discovers 9+11=20, and as a result Saturday’s matchup with Loyola is the most unlikely Elite Eight game in tournament history. He also points out that for the seventh consecutive season — no, really -- a team seeded seventh or higher will reach the Final Four.
- Also at CBS, Kyle Boone offers eight things to know. Four of them are today’s games. The other four are about last night’s winners Florida State Seminoles, Michigan Wolverines, and Loyola... and one loser, Kentucky. Go ahead, say the word.
- Joe Rogers of the Sporting News offers three takeaways — including being one of the few national journalists to make a point of K-State returning literally everyone of consequence next season.
- Joe Drape of the New York Times recaps.
- The Washington Post’s Gene Wang sort of celebrates the ouster of a blue-blood.
- Tim Griffin of DieHards reports on the evil Greg Gumbel and his unforgivable gaffe last night. You know the one, or you will when you click the link.
- Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times says there will be lots of respect Sunday, describing how the Loyola players were prevented from getting off the floor after beating Nevada... by congratulatory hugs from your very own K-State Wildcats.
Oh, some other stuff going on, too.
It’s the round of 16 in the WNIT tonight, live from Bramlage Coliseum. K-State (18-15, 7-11 Big 12) hosts the Cal-Davis Aggies (27-6. 14-2 Big West) at 7:00pm. You can catch the game on KStateHD.tv, but we really really think you should get to Bramlage if you can. Indiana drew 5500 the other night, and we should beat that just because.
(We’re not linking K-State’s press release on this because it’s full of errors which would be avoidable if anyone was paying attention, most notably the wrong date and opponent. But here’s the PDF game notes, which are accurate.)
Believe it or not, conference play begins today as the BatCats (12-9, 0-0 Big 12) visit 20th-ranked TCU (11-7, 0-0 Big 12) in the opener of a three-game set at 6:30pm. Tonight’s game is PPV only via TCU’s website, but Saturday at 2:00pm you can tune into FOX Sports Southwest if you get it, and Sunday’s 1:00pm game will be on FOX Southwest Plus. Audio for all three games will of course be available on KStateHD.tv.
Track and Field
K-State’s track team is in San Antonio this weekend for the UTSA-hosted Roadrunner Invitational, and things got off to a good start yesterday as Nina Schultz swept the first four events of the heptathlon to take a commanding lead. It’s a three-day meet, with the rest of the combined events concluding starting at 10:00am today, followed by the commencement of the regular field events at 1:00pm.
K-State, ranked 31st, embarks on a weekend road trip today. The Wildcats (11-4, 1-1 Big 12) visit TCU (9-6, 0-0 Big 12) tonight at 5:30pm; at noon Sunday the Cats will visit Texas Tech (10-3, 0-0 Big 12).
Both the men and women are in action today, as the men host their first tournament since the 2013 Jim Colbert Intercollegiate this weekend: the BIGHORN Invitational at the Canyons Course in Palm Desert, Calif. No, we don’t know why K-State is hosting a tournament in California, but that’s okay. The first round teed at 8:00am today, with the second round in the afternoon and the final round tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the women are on the course at the MountainView Collegiate Invitational at MountainView in Tucson, Ariz. That event just started at 9:00am, and will span three days, one round per session.
Our pal Nathanael Rutherford at Rocky Top Insider has put together a full timeline of the text messages released as part of an open records request in the wake of John Currie’s termination at Tennessee. This is crazy, crazy stuff.
Also, be prepared for a special offer soon, as there should be a special t-shirt celebrating last night up for sale very, very soon. Here. On this very site. Sort of.