For the first time since the 2018-19 season, Kansas State is playing in the NCAA Tournament. On Sunday, the tournament selection committee announced that Kansas State would play Montana St in Greensboro, NC., on Friday.
The Wildcats earned a No. 3 seed after ending the regular season with a 23-9 overall record, including an 11-7 record in Big 12 play. Kansas State enters the NCAA Tournament having lost their last two games — at West Virginia to end the regular season and vs. TCU in the Big 12 Tournament.
Montana St is 25-9 this season and plays in the Big Sky Conference. They qualified for the NCAA Tournament after being Northern Arizona in the conference tournament. The Bobcats are No. 110 in Kenpom this season and have a top 75 defensive efficiency rating in the country. Since Feb. 1, they are 105th in Bart Torvik’s rankings.
The Bobcats are led by Raequan Battle who is averaging 17.4 points a game this season. He is shooting 34.5 percent from the 3-point line this season.
Despite being picked to finish in last place in the Big 12 before the season, Kansas State finished in third behind only Kansas and Texas, the Big 12 Tournament champion.
Led by senior All-Americans Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell, Kansas State enters the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2018-19 season when the Wildcats lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed to No. 13 seeded UC Irvine. by a 70-64 score.
The Wildcats are the No. 23 ranked team in Kempon, which includes having the No. 52 adjusted offensive efficiency ranking in the country and the No. 19 defense nationally. Since Feb. 1, Bart Torvik has the Wildcats as the No. 27 team nationally with the No. 10 adjusted defensive efficiency in the country.
Jerome Tang’s first season as K-State’s head coach ended with him coaching the Wildcats toa. 9-8 record in Quad 1 games and a 4-1 record in Quad 2 games. The Wildcats went a perfect 10-0 in games against Quad 3 and 4 opponents. Altogether, Kansas State is the No. 23 ranked team in the NCAA’s NET rankings, which is the fifth highest ranked Big 12 team in the NET metrics.
If Kansas State beats Montana State, they’ll play the winner of No. 6 seed Kentucky and No. 11 seed Providence.