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The MittieCats earn a 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament, plus baseball sweeps the weekend.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament Quarterfinals-Kansas State vs Texas Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball

Despite an early exit from the Big 12 Tournament to eventual tournament champ Texas 72-65 on Friday, the your Kansas State women’s basketball team did hear their named called on Selection Sunday for the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are the 9-seed in the Bridgeport, Connecticut regional, and will face off against 8-seed Washington State on Saturday, March 19 at 10:30 am CDT in Raleigh, North Carolina. Winner of Saturday’s game means a (likely) match-up with 1-seed NC State, who the Cats lost to in Raleigh earlier this season. This will be a very intriguing match-up for the Cats, as Washington State is led by for Wildcats assistant coach Kamie Ethridge, who was Deb Patterson’s long-time assistant, and the former Wildcats head lady is the Director of Player Personnel and Program Analytics for the Cougars. Oh, and Lauri Koehn, whose jersey hangs in Bramlage, is the Assistant Head Coach. That’s a lot of former purple on that staff.

But the Cats are “back in the bracket”, and that’s really all that matters right now.

We will have a Bracket Challenge this year, though no prizes besides bragging rights. Though we tried really really hard to avoid That Place That Tried To Wreck the Big 12, they were the only site that had groups available for the women’s brackets, so that’s what we’re doing. You get two brackets in each group, and brackets are locked in to the group once the Round of 64 starts. Password to join for both groups is “BringOnTheCats!”
2022 BotC Men’s Bracket Challenge
2022 BotC Women’s Bracket Challenge

Baseball

Despite cold weather delaying the start of the series, it ended up being a great weekend for baseball in Manhattan.

On Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats put up three runs between the 3rd and 4th innings to take a 3-1 lead, then came back with three more in the 8th to break a 3-3 tie to secure a 6-3 victory in game one over Central Connecticut State. Blake Adams pitched six innings, giving up 6 hits but just two runs while recording 7 strikeouts. K-State picked up offense from around the order, led by DH Jeff Heinrich’s 3 hits in his first start of the season.

Sunday’s double-header was more of the same. The Cats actually trailed 3-2 into the bottom of the 4th, but just after Connor McCullogh finished his time on the mound in the 6th, the Cats went back up 4-3 to earn their Saturday starter his second victory of the season on the way to a 5-3 win. Again, offense came from around the order, with Cole Johnson, hitting 7th, leading the team with four hits and 6th-spot hitter Justin Mitchell leading the team with 2 RBI. The Cats again carded 5 runs in the second-half of the double-header, winning 5-2 to finish the sweep of CCSU. Starter Christian Ruebeck pitched 4 solid innings to start, giving up just one run on three hits, and freshman Landry Jurecka pitched three more innings, giving up just one run on one hit.

With the series sweep, the Cats get back to .500 on the season at 6-6. Next up is a trip north to Omaha, as the Cats and Mavericks are set to square off on Tuesday and 6pm CDT in the mid-week. That game will be broadcast on OMavs.com, which looks to be free, but may also require fee to watch.

Track

Despite only sending three Wildcats to the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships, it was a productive weekend for the Wildcats. On day one, with a leap of 6.49m/21-3.50 in her second attempt, fifth-year senior Taishia Pryce clinched sixth overall in the women’s long jump. Her finished also earned her a first team All-America honor. On day two, with a height of 2.20m/7-2.50 in the men’s high jump, fifth-year senior Tejaswin Shankar placed sixth place overall. Being in the top eight put Shankar on the First Team All-American list for the second time in his career for the indoor season. But the real standout for K-State was junior Kassidy Johnson, who finished 5th overall in the 800m finals, but broke the school record while clocking in at 2:03.93 on the way to her first First Team All-American honors.