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Bring on the Sweet (Sixteen)!

Kansas State makes their final preparations for tonight’s clash of the Wildcats, plus a look back at how one game changed the course of a rivalry.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice
Bruce Weber and co. are prepped and ready for the Sweet Sixteen.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


Let’s all bask in the glorious glow of the Sweet Sixteen. In a few hours Kansas State will tip off against Kentucky in an attempt to achieve Elite status. That status may hinge on the availability of one, Dean Wade. Wade has said he’s confident he’ll play tonight. (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle)

His coach Bruce Weber hasn’t made an official declaration. But he did say if Wade plays he’ll be on a minute restriction. (Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury) At this point any minutes Wade can provide will be welcome, as his floor spacing and movement within the offense should help the Wildcats challenge those fake blue ‘Cats from the bluegrass state.

Not many people seem to be giving the good Wildcats a chance tonight, with all three regular K-State reporter’s picking against the purple and white in today’s match-up preview. (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle)

Kansas State will need to limit Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tonight if they hope to advance to the second weekend of the Big Dance. (Taylor Eldridge, Wichita Eagle)

That seems like a match-up K-State can win given the recent play of Barry Brown Jr. In the tournament Brown kept both Marcus Foster and UMBC standout Jairus Lyles under their normal scoring average, and hopes to do the same tonight. (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle)

In fact, Brown’s defense and toughness have become the essence of this Wildcat team. Following their defensive leader the Wildcats have held both Creighton, and UMBC under their season scoring average. That’s the biggest reason why these Wildcats are still dancing. (Vahe Gregorian, KC Star)

Finally, we end our Sweet Sixteen slate with something unrelated to tonight’s game. 30 years ago this month the two best college basketball teams in the state of Kansas met with a chance to go to the Final Four. No one knew it at the time, but that game was the beginning of a divergence between the two programs, that carries on to this day. It was a game that forever changed the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry. (Sam Mellinger, KC Star)