A day after being awarded the first NCAA Regional host site in school history, Kansas State learned Monday that it will be joined at Tointon Family Stadium by No. 2-seed Arkansas, third-seeded Bryant and No. 4-seed Wichita State as the entire 64-team bracket was announced on ESPNU.
The top-seeded Wildcats will play host to the Shockers Friday at 2 p.m., in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Bryant and Arkansas will play later in the evening at 7 p.m.
Games on both Saturday and Sunday will also be played at both 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. If necessary, a second championship game will be played Monday night at 7 p.m. The entire regional will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, including the WatchESPN app and ESPN3.com.
Wichita State, the Missouri Valley Tournament Champion, enters NCAA Regional play with a 39-26 overall record and finished in second place in the MVC regular-season standings with a 15-6 mark. Kansas State and Wichita State will be playing for the third time this year when they meet Friday afternoon as the Wildcats won both games during the home-and-home series. On April 9, in Manhattan, K-State plated five eighth-inning runs to tie the game at six apiece and won in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out passed ball. A week later in Wichita, K-State no-hit the Shockers for 5.2 innings and Jared King hit a three-run homer in the first inning as part of a 4-1 victory.
Wichita State holds a 51-33 all-time record against the Wildcats, but K-State holds a 19-18 edge in games played in Manhattan and has won 12 of the last 18 meetings. Friday’s contest will serve as the first matchup between K-State and WSU in the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas put together a 37-20 overall record and an 18-11 mark in conference play to finish second in the SEC Western Division. The potential match-up against the Razorbacks would be the 48th in school history but the first since 2003 as U of A holds a 29-18 edge. K-State played in the 2010 NCAA Fayetteville Regional but did not meet Arkansas.
After winning its first-ever Northeast Conference championship, Bryant enters regional play with a 44-16-1 overall record and finished first in the NEC regular-season standings at 27-5. The potential meeting with the Bulldogs would be the first in series history.
K-State enters regional play with a 41-17 overall record after finishing with a 16-8 mark in conference action. Kansas State won the Big 12 regular-season title, capturing the school’s first conference championship since 1933. Predicted to finish seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll, the Wildcats made the biggest jump in the preseason poll by a conference champion in league history.
Tickets for the NCAA Manhattan Regional are now available online at www.k-statesports.com to current baseball season ticket holders, as they are given first opportunity to purchase seating they held during the regular season. To reserve tickets, which also provides the ability to add extra tickets, season ticket holders should log into their online account and select “season renewals.”
Also, all Ahearn Fund members will receive an exclusive email offer to pre-order tickets through Tuesday as all tickets will be opened to the general public on Wednesday. A promo code will be sent to each Ahearn Fund member’s email account with ordering information.
Baseball season ticket holders and Ahearn Fund members may also order by phone on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by calling 800-221-CATS.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, with All-Session, reserved and general admission seating packages offered for the first-time event in Wildcat history. Fans may reserve their tickets in person at the K-State Athletics Ticket Office, by phone at 800-221-CATS or online at www.k-statesports.com.
If tickets remain, individual session tickets will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m., Friday and can be purchased online, by phone or in person.
All seating in the grandstand of Tointon Family Stadium will be reserved. General admission will be available only in the bleachers in the patio area along the right-field side and in the new temporary bleachers on the berm down the left-field line.
2013 MANHATTAN REGIONAL GAMES
Game One: Friday (5/31) – No. 1-seed Kansas State vs. No. 4-seed Wichita State, 2 p.m., ESPNU
Game Two: Friday (5/31) – No. 2-seed Arkansas vs. No. 3-seed Bryant, 7 p.m.
Game Three: Saturday (6/1) – Game One loser vs. Game Two loser, 2 p.m.
Game Four: Saturday (6/1) – Game One winner vs. Game Two winner, 7 p.m.
Game Five: Sunday (6/2) – Game Three winner vs. Game Four loser, 2 p.m.
Game Six: Sunday (6/2) – Game Four winner vs. Game Five winner, 7 p.m.
Game Seven (if necessary): Monday (6/3) – Game Four winner vs. Game Six winner, 7 p.m.
— KSU Sports Information —