It was a weekend to remember in Columbia, South Carolina. Last night, the South Carolina Gamecocks won their first NCAA basketball championship ever. Of course, it wasn’t the one we were all hoping for. Still, hats off to our friends in the Magnolia State, who are celebrating South Carolina’s women’s basketball championship.
But also, let’s give a big loud round of applause to their vanquished foe, Mississippi State. CLANGA is part of a select, small group of Power Five schools which have never won an official NCAA team championship in anything -- a group which also includes Virginia Tech and, yes, us. So although there was a ton of residual goodwill toward the Gamecocks last night, there was also a sense of brotherhood (or sisterhood, we suppose) with the #HailState crew. There’s still no championship in Starkville, but they’ll always have Connecticut, right?
Meanwhile, CBS’s Bill Reiter continues singing Frank Martin’s praises, arguing that nobody should assume his trip to the Final Four was a fluke.
Meanwhile, in Knoxville, John Currie is now officially the man in charge of Volunteer Athletics. He answered some questions from Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal (you remember him; he’s the guy who read our Memphis Expansionpalooza piece in its entirety on the air but hadn’t the guts to reach out to us for comment). The big takeaway: he thinks Butch Jones is doing a good job. He also didn’t actually answer when Calkins asked if he’d spoken with Frank Beamer. Have at it, commentariat.
Basketball officially bows out tonight, as North Carolina faces Gonzaga in the men’s NCAA Tournament championship game. I think we all know who the good guys are in this one.
And now, on to things of more immediate relevance.
It was a horrible weekend for the BatCats. After taking third-ranked TCU to extra innings only to get blown up for five runs on Friday, they were again blanked 1-0 in extras on Saturday, spoiling yet another great outing by Parker Rigler. The good guys finally scored some runs on Sunday. The bad news? TCU scored a lot more in a 12-4 rout. That drops K-State to 15-13 on the season, 0-6 in Big 12 play.
Our pals at Viva the Matadors have brand new Big 12 baseball power rankings, and yes, K-State is at the bottom.
Another day, another Jordan Willis sighting. muertedeatenas at our colleague site Cincy Jungle says that if the Bengals don’t land a pass rusher in the first round, they need to take Willis in the second.
Track & Field
The Wildcat distance runners were in Emporia this weekend at the Emporia Relays. Despite a small contingent, the women finished ninth overall and the men twelfth. Marija Stambolic and Paige Stratioti went one-two in the women’s 800m, as did Kayla Doll and Emma Wren in the 3000m steeplechase. Jeff Bachman grabbed the men’s only podium, also in the 3000m steeplechase.
This weekend, the squad heads to Arizona, but to two separate locations. The heptathletes and decathletes will visit those other Wildcats in Tucson for the Jim Click Combined Events on Friday and Saturday, while the rest of the team will drop in on the Sun Devils for the Saturday-Sunday Sun Angel Classic.
Against a pretty decent field including Miami, North Carolina, and conference-mates Alabama (never gets old saying that), K-State put forward a decent showing this weekend at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota, Fla. The 1V8 finished fifth, but the 2V8 grabbed a medal for third place and the 3V8 tried valiantly but came up just short of catching Alabama, finishing second. 1V4 and 2V4 took fifth and fourth, respectively.
This weekend, it’s Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Dual. K-State will face off head-to-head with Texas on Saturday.
The men are on the course in West Point, Mississippi for the OId Waverly Collegiate Championship. Their main competition is Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Corbin McGuire reports on the real intention of K-State’s spring practices in today’s Sports Extra: building a winning culture.