Before 2010, Kansas State’s last Elite Eight team was 1988

When Kansas State clashes with Loyola-Chicago in the Elite Eight on Saturday, it will mark just the third time in the last 30 years it has stood on the threshold of the Final Four.

Source: The Mercury

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Don’t let the media convince you the Ramblers are a Cinderella team.

It’s a classic Cinderella story in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this year: a plucky team that nobody believed in advancing to the Elite Eight through grit and determination.

That’s right, the Kansas State Wildcats from “The Little Apple” of Manhattan, Kansas, finally upset Big Blue Nation’s Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet Sixteen, finishing the game with a five-guard lineup. K-State has never won a national championship in basketball, but today they can advance to the Final Four with a victory over the Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers. It would be sweet redemption for “aw, shucks”-style coach Bruce Weber, who Illinois fired in part because he didn’t adequately recruit Chicago.

[Phone rings]

Hello? Yeah. No, that can’t be right. What do you mean K-State isn’t the Cinderella team? That doesn’t make any sense.

[Hangs up phone]

Apparently Loyola is supposed to be the Cinderella team today. Yeah, that Loyola. The team with a national championship — in this sport, in living memory. Yeah, with a 12-4 record in the NCAA Tournament. Yeah, I guess the private university with a 50 percent higher endowment in the country’s third-largest city is somehow the underdog. What, because they have Sister Mary Stigmata as team chaplain?

I’m not buying it. You can’t be Cinderella when you already have a national championship. Nobody is calling K-State debate, bass fishing, or crop judging Cinderella stories.

Nobody believed in K-State against Creighton, and nobody wanted them to win against UMBC. Then, again, nobody believed in K-State against Kentucky (and plenty of people still resented the Wildcats for eliminating UMBC, in a way that people wouldn’t have held it against Virginia). Analysts called K-State the worst team in the Sweet Sixteen and talked about how easy of a draw Kentucky ended up with.

Nobody believes in you, K-State! It’s you against the world, Wildcats!

Source: Bring on the Cats

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SLATE: K-State women bow out of WNIT

Kayla Goth went out with a bang, but don’t worry: she’ll be back in November.Previews of tonight’s Elite Eight game, Nina Schultz wrecks the Roadrunner heptathlon, tennis escapes TCU but baseball doesn’t.

It’s March Madness, so you know the drill by now. Lots of links, and as it’s Saturday morning lots of non-revenue action to digest as well. Once again, we’re preparing the Slate not long after midnight, so once again feel free to link new morning stories in the comments. Away we go!

Straight previews:

  • Kellis Robinett at the Star and Eagle picks the Cats by one. His colleagues are more optimistic; Blair Kerkhoff has K-State by three and Vahe Gregorian predicts a four-point win.
  • Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune previews, and has Loyola winning by four. Homer.

Other local media:

Other Chicago media:

National media:

Women’s Basketball

The dream is over, at least for 2018. Last night in the WNIT round of 16 at Bramlage, Kayla Goth and Peyton Williams combined for 47 points — for the second night in a row and third time this season — but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Big West regular-season champion Cal-Davis Aggies in a 71-69 setback. K-State had two chances to tie at the end of the game, but were unable to find the basket.

Goth led the way with 28 points, and added five assists to end the season with 226. That’s the second-highest single-season total in K-State history, and 11th all-time in the Big 12. Williams added 19 points on a career night in which she also recorded a personal season high in assists with five and a team season high with 18 rebounds. Her 19 points left her with 501 to end the season; she’s the fourth sophomore in K-State history to reach that mark and the first since Kendra Wecker back in 2002-03.

Cal-Davis (28-6, 14-2 Big West), which will move on to face Indiana in the WNIT quarterfinals, was led by Morgan Bertsch’s game-high 31 points.

K-State ends the season with an 18-16 record, but showed great promise late in the year and return both Goth and Williams in 2018-19. A rebound seems in order.


The BatCats (12-10, 0-1 Big 12) ventured south to Fort Worth to start a three game set with TCU, but a two-run shot by Luken Baker in the bottom of the eighth erased a 2-1 Wildcat lead and propelled the Horned Frogs to a series-opening 4-2 win. K-State right-hander Kasey Ford threw seven innings, giving up a lone run on six hits, but the bullpen was unable to hang on.

Drew Mount went 3-5, while Trent McMaster was 2-4 with a double; neither factored in the two Wildcat runs, however.

Today’s game is at 2:00pm on FOX Sports Southwest.

Track and Field

At the Roadrunner Invitational in San Antonio, Nina Schultz picked up right where she left off on Thursday. The Wildcat phenom ended up winning all seven events in the heptathlon, and thus ran away with the competition as she posted a score of 6,018 points. The performance was so dominant that she broke the facility record by over 1,000; it is the best score thus far in the NCAA outdoor season and just three points short of her personal best, which was good for fourth in the NCAA in 2017. In the decathlon, Max Estill and Simone Fassina finished three-four.

Janee’ Kassanavoid also had a day, going just shy of 66 meters (216 feet, 4 inches) to capture the top honors in the women’s weight throw. It’s the second-best throw in the NCAA this season, and it’s extra impressive as Kassanavoid did not compete in the indoor season this winter. Mitch Dixon won the men’s weight throw at 64.23m.

K-State had a decent day putting the shot as well, as Brett Neely and freshman Kyle Mitchell finished second and fourth, while on the women’s side Jess St. John won the event.

Day three kicks off this morning with #HighJumpU taking center stage; at 2:00pm the track events will commence to close out the festivities.


It took all seven points, and Ines Mesquita needed three sets to ultimately break the deadlock in the final match, but #31 K-State (12-4, 2-1 Big 12) managed to grab a 4-3 win on the road at TCU (9-7, 0-1 Big 12) yesterday.

Today’s a drive-across-Texas day, as the Cats will face #16 Texas Tech at noon Sunday.


There are 12 teams competing in the BIGHORN Invitational at Canyons Course in Palm Desert, Calif. K-State is the host, and they’re also stuck in 11th place after the first two rounds, at 8-over and 28 shots back of leaders Illinois.

Jacob Eklund is the leading Cat, tied for 20th at 2-under; he’s five strokes behind the Illini’s Michael Feagles and Mississippi State’s Taylor Bibbs.

The final round tees off at 10:00am.

At the MountainView Collegiate in Tucson, the women are having a better time of it. The Wildcats shot an opening-round 298, 10-over to finish the day tied for sixth place with Wichita State; Illinois shot even par for the lead.

Connie Jaffrey shot a 1-under 71 to lead the Wildcats; she’s also tied for sixth, three shots back of KU’s Sera Tadokoro. The second round begins at 9:00am this morning.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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MERCH! Catlanta t-shirts!

It’s been awhile since we’ve had the opportunity to offer y’all some threads.Show those Kentucky people who really runs the 404.

Once upon a time, there was a team which traveled frequently to the sweltering home of Murder Kroger. That team was routinely joined by hordes of their fans, making the relatively short trip down Interstate 75 to fill The Omni, or the Georgia Dome, or Phillips Arena.

But they’ve now been dethroned. Friday night, March 22, a different bunch of Wildcats outfought, outhustled, and outplayed the former claimants to the throne of Catlanta.

And as such, they’re now the kings of the hill, as it were.

With that in mind, we’ve got a spiffy deal for you. In conjunction with our pals at breakingt, we’re proud to offer you the opportunity to celebrate K-State’s big Sweet Sixteen win with your very own Kings of Catlanta t-shirt. Here’s a close-up of the design.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had the opportunity to do something like this, so please make the most of it.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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Notebook: K-State miffed by handshake snub

ATLANTA — A postgame custom went by the wayside in the wake of Kansas State’s 61-58 victory over Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

Source: The Mercury

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SLATE: K-State in the Elite Eight. That’s great!

One more win and a 54-year drought ends.WNIT tonight, baseball AND tennis at TCU, track and golf also on the road.

So. How ‘bout dat?

Suddenly, and deservedly, Bruce Weber is a hero. An eternity of being jacked by Kentucky is over. And amazingly, despite a basketball history which has only seven other teams reaching the Elite Eight more frequently than K-State and in contradiction to the sense of aimlessness many feel surrounds the program, two of the Elite Eight appearances which your benevolent despot actually remembers have occurred this decade.

It’s a good morning.

We’re going to get right to the links, because oh holy bejeebus there’s a lot of them.

Local media:

Kentucky media:

  • It might surprise you to see takes like this coming from our sister blog A Sea of Blue, but here we are: Jeremy Chisenhall, offering three takes, can’t figure out how Kentucky even survived the first half.
  • At least one Kentucky player isn’t blaming the refs, which we have to confess is a welcome change from the usual blue-blood mantra. The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Jerry Tipton reports that Hamidou Diallo disagreed with a call here and there, but knows Kentucky just got beaten. (Of course, Calipari sort of whined about the physicality, but, see, that’s why they called over fifty fouls, John.)
  • Also from Tipton, Kentucky players also know they lost because they can’t shoot free throws.
  • The LHL’s John Clay offers three takeaways from the Kentucky loss, including the observation that K-State effectively took Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out of the contest.
  • P.J. Washington is taking the blame on himself for Kentucky’s exit, reports Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
  • From Ray Glier, special to the LHL: K-State had a plan. They executed it, and only afterward did they explain their evil plan to the defeated hero. No Bond villain, Bruce Weber.
  • Fletcher Page of the Courier-Journal with a recap and a game ball for Xavier Sneed.

National media:

Oh, some other stuff going on, too.

Women’s Basketball

It’s the round of 16 in the WNIT tonight, live from Bramlage Coliseum. K-State (18-15, 7-11 Big 12) hosts the Cal-Davis Aggies (27-6. 14-2 Big West) at 7:00pm. You can catch the game on, but we really really think you should get to Bramlage if you can. Indiana drew 5500 the other night, and we should beat that just because.

(We’re not linking K-State’s press release on this because it’s full of errors which would be avoidable if anyone was paying attention, most notably the wrong date and opponent. But here’s the PDF game notes, which are accurate.)


Believe it or not, conference play begins today as the BatCats (12-9, 0-0 Big 12) visit 20th-ranked TCU (11-7, 0-0 Big 12) in the opener of a three-game set at 6:30pm. Tonight’s game is PPV only via TCU’s website, but Saturday at 2:00pm you can tune into FOX Sports Southwest if you get it, and Sunday’s 1:00pm game will be on FOX Southwest Plus. Audio for all three games will of course be available on

Track and Field

K-State’s track team is in San Antonio this weekend for the UTSA-hosted Roadrunner Invitational, and things got off to a good start yesterday as Nina Schultz swept the first four events of the heptathlon to take a commanding lead. It’s a three-day meet, with the rest of the combined events concluding starting at 10:00am today, followed by the commencement of the regular field events at 1:00pm.


K-State, ranked 31st, embarks on a weekend road trip today. The Wildcats (11-4, 1-1 Big 12) visit TCU (9-6, 0-0 Big 12) tonight at 5:30pm; at noon Sunday the Cats will visit Texas Tech (10-3, 0-0 Big 12).


Both the men and women are in action today, as the men host their first tournament since the 2013 Jim Colbert Intercollegiate this weekend: the BIGHORN Invitational at the Canyons Course in Palm Desert, Calif. No, we don’t know why K-State is hosting a tournament in California, but that’s okay. The first round teed at 8:00am today, with the second round in the afternoon and the final round tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the women are on the course at the MountainView Collegiate Invitational at MountainView in Tucson, Ariz. That event just started at 9:00am, and will span three days, one round per session.


Our pal Nathanael Rutherford at Rocky Top Insider has put together a full timeline of the text messages released as part of an open records request in the wake of John Currie’s termination at Tennessee. This is crazy, crazy stuff.

Also, be prepared for a special offer soon, as there should be a special t-shirt celebrating last night up for sale very, very soon. Here. On this very site. Sort of.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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Recap: K-State Takes Down Kentucky, 61-58!

This lineup of 6’4 and unders finished the game in thrilling fashion. Party in Aggieville!Wildcats will meet Loyola-Chicago in the Elite-8 on Saturday

Nobody gave K-State a chance in this game. Not enough offense, everyone said. Not enough length. Sixteenth best of the Sweet Sixteen teams. Kentucky’s stable of thoroughbreds would stampede all over the purple Wildcats.

Somebody forgot to tell Barry Brown, Xavier Sneed and their teammates that they were supposed to be the Washington Generals of the second week, apparently. They took the fight to Kentucky right off the bat, and made the NBA talent-laden SEC squad work for everything, all night long. Kentucky counter-punched and took leads on several occasions, but the Kansas version of the Wildcats got a monstrous drive and bucket by Barry Brown on K-State’s biggest possession of the season to win, 61-58.

Brown’s drive for K-State’s 60th point was as clutch a play as you’ll ever see. It was set up by Diarra snaring a rebound off a Brown miss to extend the ‘Cat possession. Diarra nearly lost the ball and called time-out to avoid a tie-up with Kentucky owning the arrow.

After Brown’s tough drive and finish, Kentucky’s three-point attempt was short, and Amaad Wainright corralled the rebound, was fouled, and made 1-of-2 free throws to stretch the lead to 3. Kentucky was unable to hit the tying shot, and celebration erupted in Aggieville.

The contest could not have started much better for K-State. Just as Kentucky appeared ready to score near the basket on the first possession, Makol Mawien came away with a steal. The motion offense produced a nice dump-down to Brown near the basket, and after Hamidou Diallo fouled him, he hit 1-of-2 free throws for the game’s first point.

Two possessions later, Brown hit a three from the corner. Then Xavier Sneed hit a three. Kamau Stokes converted a conventional three-point play, and Sneed buried another long one to force a Kentucky time-out with the score 13-1, K-State.

The time-out worked for Calipari’s crew, who scored the next 9 points to draw the score to 13-10. Worse, Makol Mawien picked up his second foul during this stretch, pressing Dean Wade into more service time than Coach Weber probably wanted. Two Wade free throws put K-State back on the board after a 3:47 scoring drought.

Kentucky got within two, 17-15, before enduring its own scoring drought. Free throws by Levi Stockard and another three by Sneed—his third of the opening half—extended K-State’s lead back to seven, 22-15, with eight minutes to play.

Foul trouble was a storyline in the first half, as the zebras were surprisingly liberal with the whistles for a tournament game. Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo picked up two early. Makol Mawien and Levi Stockard both had two in the first twelve minutes of action. At 5:55, Stockard actually picked up his third infraction. At 3:17, Diallo picked up his third. Sneed followed suit with just under a minute to play in the half.

Kansas State finished with 16 first-half fouls, against 10 on Kentucky. The SEC’s Wildcats were not whistled for a foul in the last 6:09 of the half.

Kentucky had a pronounced advantage at the line, and it absolutely kept them in the game. The blue Wildcats made 16 of 23 attempts in the first half. That was almost enough to offset their 6-of-23 performance from the floor. That’s right; Kentucky had only six field goals in the entire first half.

K-State finished the half 10-of 28 from the floor, 7-11 at the free throw line. Xavier Sneed was 3-5 from outside, and the ‘Cats as a team hit 6 of 15 three-point attempts in the half. Thanks to a make by Mike McGuirl on K-State’s penultimate possession, K-State went to break with a 33-29 lead.

Kentucky started the second half with an easy isolation on the block, then turned an offensive rebound into a third foul against Mawien. After Kevin Knox hit both free throws, the game was tied for the first time since the opening tip. Kentucky took its first lead, 36-35, on a Quade Green three-pointer at the 17:22 mark. After a Mawien answer was wiped away by a travel, Coach Weber called a timeout to regroup.

Sneed connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the night to put K-State back in front. After the game was tied at 38, K-State went on a 9-0 run (keyed by another Sneed three) to pull in front 47-38. Kentucky whittled the lead with a couple of tough shots, and at the under-12 break, K-State led 47-42.

K-State missed two chances to push the lead to double-digits before the under-8 timeout. An enormous moment occurred at 8:24, when Sneed—who had played like a man possessed and had 22 of K-State’s 52 points at the time—picked up his fourth foul.

Kentucky missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but got the rebound and a putback to pull within 5 again. Rebounding became a significant issue over the next few possessions, leading to second-chance points and more free throws.

Kentucky surged back on top, 55-54 with just under five minutes to play. K-State’s offense went stagnant again with Sneed on the bench. After a steal and a nice take for the and-one opportunity by Cartier Diarra put K-State in front again, the teams went to the sidelines for the last media timeout with the score K-State 56, Kentucky 55.

The last few minutes were all tension. Kentucky regained the lead at 57-56 on a PJ Washington lay-up that fouled Mawien out of the game. He missed the free throw, however, and Diallo fouled Barry Brown on the rebound. He hit both charity tosses to put the K-State ‘Cats back on top.

On the ensuing possession, Sneed poked the ball loose from PJ Washington and was called for a questionable foul, his fifth. He became the third—and by far the most important—purple to foul out. A 1-for-2 trip to the line tied the game at 58-all. Then heart, execution and an unforgettable performance by the smallest line-up you may ever see in a Sweet 16 matchup made magic.

Wade came back from injury to play 8 minutes, all in the first half.

Kentucky entered the game 9-0 all-time against K-State. It had won 8 straight games in the Sweet Sixteen. K-State didn’t care about any of that. Only tonight mattered, and tonight was theirs.

Sneed led Kansas State with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Brown had 13. Stokes and Wainright were next with six apiece. It was a team effort, on both ends.

PJ Washington led Kentucky with 18 points. He was a ghastly 8-for-20 from the free throw line, no doubt leaving Kentucky fans to lament what might have been.

Kansas State has not been to the Final Four since 1964. On Saturday, these unexpected heroes will attempt to rewrite K-State sports history and get there for the first time in 54 years. Tournament basketball is so damn cool.

Three in the Key

  1. No Scaredy-Cats. K-State established right off the bat that the moment was not going to be too big for them. They locked down defensively and opened the game on a 7-0 run. They showed poise on the defensive end and weathered scoring droughts and foul trouble to nurse a four-point lead into halftime.
  2. Three on the arc. Three point shooting was key for K-State. The squad has struggled from outside for weeks. But against the length and athleticism of Kentucky, the ‘Cats were going to have to knock down some longballs. Sneed obliged in the first half, and Brown, Stokes and McGuirl all contributed, as well. Sneed kept it going until foul trouble sent him to the bench. The 6-5 sophomore finished 5 for 8 from deep on the night. And when they respected the outside shot too much, he put it on the floor and got to the rim. Sharing the floor with five-star talent, Sneed had a gold star night.
  3. Next year? Why not This Year? In the last month we have seen the emergence of Mawien, Diarra and McGuirl. Tonight, Sneed elevated his game to levels we have never seen before, on the biggest stage and against the best athletes. With no scholarship seniors, excitement for next year was building, no matter what happened tonight. With a matchup against 11-seed Loyola-Chicago standing as the only hurdle between K-State and a Final Four, it would be disappointing if this already-special run did not end in San Antonio.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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K-State advances forward to the Elite Eight game after nail-biting win against Kentucky

The underdogs have managed to pull yet another upset during this session of March Madness. It was relentless, scary, sluggish, troubling and exciting, all rolled into one two hour period. The Kansas State Wildcats won against the Kentucky Wildcats, 61-58, on Thursday night after a nail-biter. It was so much of a nail-biter, many people […]

Source: K-State Collegian

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