Big 12 regular season champion Kansas State was rewarded for its successful 2012-13 season on Sunday night, as the Wildcats earned their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their fifth in the last six seasons by receiving an at-large bid to the tournament.
No. 11/12 Kansas State (27-7, 14-4 Big 12) was selected as a No. 4 seed in the West Regional and will travel to Kansas City, Mo., to play the winner of the 13-seed play-in game between Boise State (21-10) and La Salle (21-9) on Friday, March 22 at the Sprint Center. The winner will advance to play either No. 5 seed Wisconsin (23-11) and No. 12 seed Ole Miss (26-8) on Sunday, March 24. The Wildcats will be joined at the venue by No. 1 seed Kansas, No. 8 seed North Carolina, No. 9 Villanova and No. 16 seed Western Kentucky of the South Regional. The top seeds in the West Regional are No. 1 seed Gonzaga, No. 2 seed Ohio State and No. 3 New Mexico.
Times and television information will be released at a later time.
The school will be playing an NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City for the ninth time in its history, which includes Final Four appearances in 1948, 1951 and 1964. It will be the first since playing in the Final Four against UCLA and Michigan at Municipal Auditorium on March 20-21, 1964.
K-State’s ticket allotment has been sold out through pre-orders by season ticket holders and Ahearn Fund members. There may be a priority point cut-off for order fulfillment. Fans who pre-ordered tickets will be contacted as soon as possible regarding the status of their order and pick-up times and locations.
Kansas State is making its 34th postseason appearance, which includes 27 in the NCAA Tournament and seven in the Postseason NIT. It extends its school-record streak of consecutive postseason appearances to seven, while it ties the school mark for consecutive NCAA Tournament bid to four. The five trips to the NCAA Tournaments in the last six years is the best stretch in school history. Seniors Jordan Henriquez, Martavious Irving and Rodney McGruder are just the second senior class to reach four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, tying the mark set by the 1989-90 class. The trio is already the winningest senior class in school history with 101 wins.
Last season, the Wildcats went 1-1 in the NCAA East Regional at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., knocking off No. 9 seed Southern Miss, 70-64, in the second round before losing to top-seed Syracuse, 75-59, in the third round. K-State has a 6-4 NCAA Tournament mark in its last four appearances.
The program has posted a 33-30 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play, including a 6-3 mark in second round games. The school will be making its sixth appearance in the West Regional with its other trips coming in 1948, 1951, 1981, 1987 and 2010 and is 11-7 all-time in the region. K-State will be making its second appearance as a No. 4 seed and the first since making a run to the Elite Eight in 1987-88. Overall, the school is 3-1 as a No. 4 seed.
In K-State’s 26 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 a total of 16 times. The program has also reached the Elite Eight 11 times, made four Final Four appearances and played in one National Championship game (1951).
Head coach Bruce Weber becomes the ninth different coach to lead Kansas State to an NCAA Tournament appearance, including third first-year coach (Lon Kruger and Frank Martin). Overall, Weber advances to his ninth NCAA Tournament as a head coach, which includes six at Illinois and two at Southern Illinois. He is 41st head coach in NCAA history to take three different schools to the tournament, including the 21st active coach. He has an 11-8 overall record in the NCAA Tournament with three trips to the Sweet 16 and the 2005 Final Four.
Boise State enters Wednesday’s play-in game with a 21-10 overall record, which includes a tie for fourth-place in the Mountain West with a 9-7 mark. The team is led by longtime Gonzaga assistant and third-year head coach Leon Rice, who is the first head coach in school history to win 20 games in two of his first three seasons. The Broncos will be making their sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including the first time since 2008. The squad is led by the sophomore duo of Anthony Drmic (17.3 ppg.) and Derrick Marks (16.3 ppg.), who were both named second team All-Mountain West. Drmic led the league in scoring (18.8 ppg.) in conference-only games.
La Salle has a 21-9 overall record heading into Wednesday’s play-in game and finished in a three-way tie for third in the Atlantic 10 with an 11-5 mark. The team is led by one of the few head coaches with a Ph.D. in Division I basketball in Dr. John Giannini, who has a 140-137 record in his ninth season. The Explorers will be making their 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including the first since 1992 and the first under Giannini. The team has four players averaging in double figures led by senior Ramon Galloway (17.0 ppg.), who became just the third player to be named first team All-Atlantic 10 and the first since 2006. Junior Tyreek Duren also earned second team honors from the Atlantic 10 after averaging 15.0 points per game.
K-State has never faced Boise State on the hardwood, while it has played La Salle three times, including a match-up in the 1988 Midwest Regional First Round in South Bend, Ind. The Wildcats are 3-0 against the Explorers, including a 66-53 win on March 17, 1988 in the NCAA Tournament. The school is 28-18 against Mountain West schools, including a 4-3 mark in neutral site games, while it is 21-18 vs. the Atlantic 10, including 4-6 on neutral courts.
K-State was one of five Big 12 teams to earn berths in NCAA Tournament, joining No. 1 seed Kansas (South), No. 5 seed Oklahoma State (Midwest), No. 10 seed Iowa State (West) and No. 10 seed Oklahoma (South) in the field. The Wildcats also faced three other squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including No. 1 seed Gonzaga (West), No. 3 seed Florida (South) and No. 4 seed Michigan (South).
— KSU Sports Information —