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Men’s basketball wins on Senior Day

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Men’s Basketball

Kansas State beat Texas Tech 61-48 yesterday with a strong defensive performance. The win earns the Wildcats a sixth seed and a shot at #11 Baylor at the Big 12 Tournament next week.

It was Senior Day yesterday, so it was only appropriate that seniors D.J. Johnson and Wesley Iwundu would lead the team. Johnson had 19 points on the day, while Iwundu had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, his second in as many games.

The win was relatively comfortable, but raises other questions. First on everyone’s mind: did this win save Bruce Weber’s job? (Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star).

Weber seemed more defensive than usual yesterday, noting

Who’s the only coach in the league who has a Big 12 championship ring, besides Bill Self? Me. Who’s the only coach (to win at least a share of a league title) in 40 years at K-State? Me. It is what it is.

Recall that “it is what it is” was (in)famously used by Mack Brown to explain away yet another blow out loss to Oklahoma back in 2012. Our brethren at BON lampooned the phrase then, but jokes aside, it was the beginning of the end for Brown in Austin. Is that also true for Weber. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, interim athletic director Laird Veatch has said he will evaluate Weber’s tenure in consultation with university president Richard Myers. Veatch reiterated that his approach to administration is “traditional” which means he doesn’t want to make a decision until after the season is ended (Joel Jellison, Manhattan Mercury).

Women’s Basketball

Kansas State beat Iowa State 74-67 in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Tournament in Oklahoma City yesterday to advance to the semifinals. The Wildcats will take on top seed Baylor at 1:30 PM today. The game will be available on FS1.

The game against Iowa State did not start well for the team in purple-and-white. The Cyclones built an early 15-7 lead off some terrible shooting and early foul trouble for Breanna Lewis. But then Kayla Goth happened. As Jon Morse notes in the game recap, Goth’s onslaught came at just the right team.

Goth had a career-high 25 points on the day, and freshman Eternati Willock added 12 points. For her part, Kindred Wesemann made four free throws at a crucial point as the clock wound down to help Kansas State to victory.

Wildcats in the NFL

Jordan Willis is participating in the NFL Combine this weekend, and in events that surprise no one among the Kansas State faithful, he’s making people take notice. He ran a 4.53 and leads the field with a 10-yard split of 1.58. He also had a 39” vertical jump.

Good luck, Jordan!

Baseball

Kansas State won its fourth consecutive game yesterday, beating Eastern Illinois 12-11 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The BatCats led the game 8-3 at one point, thanks in part to a two-run double from Jake Scudder who also had a homerun in the game. But the Panthers took a 10-9 lead heading into the final inning. Kansas State then tied the game on a triple from Cameron Thompson. Then Jake Wodtke’s sac-fly helped Thompson home to seal the victory.

The BatCats will finish up the series against Easter Illinois today at Tointon. First pitch is slated for 1 PM.

Rowing

High winds in Oklahoma City forced Kansas State to cancel a planned scrimmage against Oklahoma on Saturday. The team did get some useful practice reps in the morning, however.

The team will return to Oklahoma on March 18 for a race against Tulsa.