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SLATE: Wildcats Still Dancing

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The MittieCats play again today vs 1-seed NC State, plus BatCats on an 8-game win streak

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

Basketball

The Kansas State women are still alive in the 2022 NCAA Tournament after beating 8-seed Washington State 50-40 on Saturday morning. Both teams struggled to score early, with a 9-5 advantage by the Cougars at the end of the 1st quarter, and a 24-17 edge at halftime. But the Cats came out of halftime strong on both offense and defense, posting 18 points in the 3rd period while limiting the Cougars to just 9 to take a 35-33 lead into the fourth period. A 15-7 4th quarter put the game away for good, as the Cats advance to play NC State today at 3pm CDT. The Cougars head home from their second-straight NCAA tournament appearance without earning a victory, but these last two appearances, both under former Wildcats assistant coach Kamie Ethridge, are just the second and third appearances all time.

As mentioned, the Cats are back in action today at 3pm CDT, facing off against 1-seed NC State on their home court. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN, and we will have a game thread for you later today.

On the men’s side, multiple reports came out yesterday that the search for the next head men’s basketball coach has ended, and Baylor assistant Jerome Tang will be named as the 24th head coach at K-State sometime later today. Tang has spent the last 18 seasons with Scott Drew at Baylor.

Baseball

The BatCats kept rolling through the weekend, extending their win streak to eight games with a sweep of Morehead State. On Friday, a 5-run second inning was enough to secure victory, but the Cats still tacked on five more for a 10-2 final score. Blake Adams picked up his second win on the mound, going 6 1/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out seven while allowing a lone earned run. Adams held Morehead State scoreless through the game’s first five innings, limiting the Eagles to three hits in that stretch. On offense, it was Dom Johnson's career-high four hits that led the Cats, while Cole Johnson had three hits. The Johnsons (not related) finished the day going a combined 7 for 9 at the plate.

If 10 runs wasnt enough offense for you, the BatCats exploded for an impressive 15-runs on Saturday to post a 15-2 victory. They posted at least one run in every inning but the 2nd, and scored two runs each in the 4th, 5th, & 6th innings, capping the day off with a 6-run 8th inning. And that 6-run inning? Came without many of the starters in the lineup (including the first four in the lineup), as Coach Hughes elected to make multiple changes with the game feeling out of reach. Connor McCullough picked up his 3rd win of the season pitching 7 complete innings, giving up just one run on three hits, while tossing 8 strikeouts.

Sunday was actually a bit shaky for the Cats, as the Eagles went up 3-0 before the Cats could score in the bottom of the 3rd, and then 5-2 through four innings. But K-State finally came alive in the 6th, posting 2 runs in the 6th, 3 runs in the 7th to take the lead, and 2 more in the 8th to solidify their hold on the lead on the way to a 9-6 comeback victory for their 8th-straight win. The go-ahead runs in the 7th came from the bat of Josh Nicoloff, who crushed a 3-run homer over the center-field fence for his four long-ball of the season. Griffin Hassall picked up his third win of the season after tossing the final three innings of the game, giving up just one run to clinch the game for the Cats.

Next up, the 11-7 Cats are set to host Air Force in a mid-week series, with Tuesday’s game scheduled for 6pm CDT, and Wednesday’s set for 4pm CDT.

Tennis

The Wildcats tennis team finally broke into the rankings, but it’s going to be a short trip as they fell in both games of their home double-header this weekend. On Friday, The No. 56 Cats got swept by No. 41 Texas Tech 4-0 to fall to 6-7 and 0-3 in Big 12 play. K-State dropped the doubles point in a tiebreaker, and then fell in the No. 1, 3, and 4 singles matches.

On Sunday, the Cats were able to put up more of a fight against TCU, but still fell 4-2 to the visiting Horned Frogs. K-State won the doubles point and picked up a singles point thanks to sophomore Manami Ukita, but lost singles’ matches at the No. 1, 3, 4, and 5 positions to fall to 6-8, and 0-4 in Big 12 play.

Next up, the Cats stay home for a non-conference double-header, with matches on Saturday (March 26), playing No. 37 Tulsa, and Sunday (March 27), taking on Wichita State. Both matches will be outside at the Mike Goss Tennis Stadium with both matches beginning at 12pm CDT.