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SLATE: Coaches mic’d up in Spring practice

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Golf team competing for title in Missouri

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Oregon v Kansas State
Collin Klien is slinging encouragement on the K-State practice field.

In the absence of big K-State stories, we’ll divert to talk briefly about yesterday’s biggest college sports story before getting to the smattering of Wildcat news.

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament ended in thrilling fashion last night, with Big 12 Co-Champ Texas Tech falling in overtime to Virginia, 85-77. The championship caps a compelling redemption story for the Cavaliers, who won their first-ever title only a year after becoming the first 1-seed ever to lose to a 16-seed. How does the rage machine that was calling for Tony Bennett’s job last year look now?

Of course, no close game (and, frankly, few games of any sort) these days can end without controversy. The complaints this morning concern a reversed out-of-bounds call that gave Virginia possession after Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti was stripped of the ball with a little more than a minute to play in overtime and the Red Raiders trailing 77-75. The complaints are dubious. Yes, the call was an enormous momentum-changer. But most neutral observers seem to agree that it was the right call. Some have suggested that, even though the ball went off Moretti’s hand, referees should not have reversed the call as a make-up for not whistling a foul before the strip. That notion, of course, encourages referees to intentionally shape the narrative and outcome of games, which nobody should want.

Another awkward sidelight occurred when play had to be stopped to remove a tortilla from the court. It seems odd that anyone would risk a thousand-dollar seat to fling a twenty-cent flour frisbee at the playing surface, but you do you, Tech fans.

Speaking of those west Texas hoops aficionados, they will now hold their collective breath while bigger, richer schools try to steal Chris Beard from the Lubbock sidelines. But, after winning the adulation of Red Raider nation and proving he can play all the way to the title game on the sidelines for Texas Tech, why would Beard consider UCLA or anywhere else a better job?

On to our limited supply of K-State news.

Spring football practice continues, and the K-State Football Twitter page has posted its latest “mic’d up” video, featuring Collin Klien, who tried (without much difficulty, we assume) to “keep it PG”:

Since the new-age Wildcats allow reporters to attend practice, Kellis Robinett indulged and penned a few words about his impressions and observations. Teaser: he likes what he sees out of Hunter Rison and is intrigued by the active pre-snap motion and misdirection offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham appears to be incorporating.

In K-State Sports Extra, Corbin McGuire shares the story of Mike McCoy, whose playing career was tragically curtailed by spinal stenosis, but who continues to pursue his passion for football as a student coach. McCoy’s story is intensely personal and really worth a read.

Scott Garrett, a member of K-State’s athletic department for nine years, has accepted the athletic director’s position at Cleveland State. Garrett had been serving as Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Operations and Chief Revenue Officer at Kansas State. (What is that old political saw about “the longer your title,” again?) The Cleveland State job is Garrett’s first opportunity to lead an athletic department.

On Monday, Coach Dibbini added two international defenders to the K-State soccer squad for the upcoming 2019 season. Silke Bonnen, from Copenhagen, Denmark, has played in the top Danish women’s league, Elitedivisionen. She has started over 40 matches, logging over 3,000 minutes of playing time, and was named the team’s player of the year after the 2017-2018 season—no common feat for a back-line defender. Shannon Dukes played in international matches for the Wales National Team in U15, U16, U17 and U19 age groups, appearing in 21 matches in seven different countries. The two join an incoming freshman class of nine players.

Golfer Jacob Eklund carded a 13-under score of 131 in the first two rounds of the Missouri Tiger Invitational Monday, leading the K-State team to a season-best 24-under par 552. Eklund leads the individual competition by two strokes over TCU’s Stefano Mazzoli, who is ranked 46th nationally. As a team, K-State sits third, eight strokes behind leader TCU and three back of host Missouri. In early play today, the ‘Cats have tied Missouri at -25 and are only five back of TCU. You can follow progress here.

Fianally, SBNation college football site Every Day Should be Saturday kicked off its annual charity bowl yesterday, an event which “Begins with spite and ends with hugs (and spite).” The event is a friendly competition among college football fan-bases to see which can contribute the largest amount to EDSBS’s charity of choice, New American Pathways. The link to donate is here. You have until midnight next Sunday to celebrate your Powercat fandom through philanthropy.