We’ll get to what has been in a moment, but first a note on what’s to come. At 5:00 CT, be sure to tune into CBS or March Madness Live, for the 2019 NCAA Tournament Selection Show. We’ll find out where K-State is seeded, where they’re going, and who they’ll be playing. You’ll be pleased to know the alphabetical nonsense is done with, and they’re going back to the good old bracket reveal method.
Aside from hoping the Cats get a favorable draw, our biggest hope is that the committee won’t screw over Belmont in favor of some trash Power 5 team that barely finished over .500 on the year. It doesn’t matter how hard your schedule was. If you lose 15 games, you have no damned argument.
At the El Campeon Golf Course at Mission Inn Resort and Club in the strangely-named Orlando exurb of Howey-in-the-Hills, a strange and wonderful thing occurred yesterday. After the opening 18 holes of the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular, hosted by George Mason for some reason, the Wildcats find themselves atop the leaderboard as a team after shooting an 8-under 568. That’s a two-stroke lead over Central Florida, three over Illinois State, and a whopping 13 over fourth-place Yale.
The charge was led by Jeremy Gandon, who fired a 7-under 137 (-3 and -4 on the two rounds) to finish the first two rounds tied with Central Florida’s Bobby Bai. Jacob Eklund helped quite a bit as well, shooting 3-under; he’s tied for fifth overall, and Ben Fernandez is tied for 15th at 1-over.
If that weren’t nice enough, they’re already underway today, and the Cats are on fire. They’re already 5-under on the day, while UCF is at 4-over. That means K-State has opened a massive 10-stroke lead on the field at this posting. Gandon now leads Bai by a stroke, still at 6-under through seven. But Eklund is making a Sunday charge, shooting 2-under through six to improve to third place, two shots back of his teammate.
The women are not underway yet, as they’re in Arizona at the Notre Dame Clover Cub, held at the Longbow Golf Club in Mesa. They currently sit squarely in the middle of the pack at 35-over, 26 shots off the lead. Niamh McSherry leads the Cats at 6-over, tied for 16th, nine strokes off the individual lead.
Track and Field
K-State grabbed six wins yesterday at the TCU Invitational. Some of the names will come as no surprise; Helene Ingvaldsen won the women’s hammer, Brett Neelly won the men’s shot, and K-State captured the women’s 4x400m relay. The other three wins were all distance runners: Kurt Loevenstein and Kassidy Johnson swept the 1500m races, while Johnson also won the women’s 800m. The women claimed the entire podium in the 800, with Alex Ferguson and Cayli Hume taking second and third.
Other podium finishes included Ashley Petr (third) and Brett Neelly (second) in the discus, Taylor Latimer finishing third in the women’s hammer and second in the shot, Logan Wolfley claiming second in men’s javelin, Charlie Parrish earning bronze in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, Ethan Powell second in the men’s 1500m, and Ariel Okorie and Ranae McKenzie finishing 2-3 in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Next weekend, the team will be in San Diego for the Aztec Invitational.
The BatCats gave up a lone run to Texas-Rio Grande Valley (12-7) in the top of the first, and then shut the Vaqueros down while Chris Ceballos homered twice to lead the way to a 7-1 win at Tointon yesterday, guaranteeing a series win. K-State improves to 10-8, and they’ll finish the series at 1:00pm on ESPN3.