This season, Kansas State had its first 20-win season in nearly five years. The reward for this accomplishment? A spot in the NCAA Tournament as a seventh seed, and an unexpected chance to host the first and second rounds of the Tournament. Jon Morse has all the details HERE.
This is the Wildcats’ 14th post-season appearance in the last 16 years, and the 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament overall. Kansas State (22-10) will take on 10th seed Drake (28-4). Should the Wildcats win that game, a meeting with 2-seed Stanford may be on the cards, should Stanford get past 15th seed New Mexico State.
Tickets are on sale online right now, so if you’re in or near Manhattan, this is a great chance to support Kansas State and participate in the NCAA Tournament too.
On Sunday, we learned Kansas State would play Wake Forest in a first-four showdown. That game is scheduled for tonight with tip-off at 8:10 PM CT in Dayton. Greg Woods has the official BotC game preview: K-State set for first NCAA tilt in three years.
For the Wildcats, the key may have to be excellent defense. Wake Forest features a potent offense, currently No. 8 nationally in offensive efficiency and averaging 82.7 points (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal). Luckily, the Wildcats’ defense may be peaking at just the right time. Kansas State has held their last three opponents to an average of 54.3 points, just 35.6 percent shooting from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc (Corbin McGuire, K-State SportsExtra).
D.J. Johnson and Dean Wade will need to be at their defensive best to hold Wake Forest’s John Collins (averaging 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds) in check. For his part, Johnson thinks Big 12 play has prepared the team for the challenge:
I imagine he is on the NBA Draft board, right? He is, just like (Baylor forward) Johnathan Motley, same guy averaging 21 and 12. The Big 12 has prepared us for this.
We’re maybe not so high on Kansas State making the play-in round of the NCAA Tournament, but the players believe they’ve saved the season, and their self-belief is very high right now (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
The BatCats are in the middle of a 14-game homestand which continues today with a game against 1-10 Creighton at Tointon Family Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4 PM.
On Wednesday, Kansas State will take on Omaha (1-14) in an evening game scheduled for 6:30 PM.