PITTSBURGH — The Kansas State mens basketball team saved its fans from a lonely couple of days in the Steel City.
The Wildcats defeated Southern Mississippi 70-64 on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, setting up a Saturday showdown with top-seeded Syracuse in the East Regional.
The game will air starting at 11:15 a.m. on CBS.
Most K-State fans booked travel hotel rooms and flights through Sunday morning, betting that the Wildcats would beat the Golden Eagles. Its the fourth straight time under fifth-year coach Frank Martin that K-State won its opening game in the tournament.
The K-State womens team is also in the NCAA Tournament. It takes on Princeton at 10:20 a.m. Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn.
I dont want our fans to ever get spoiled, K-State athletic director John Currie said. We dont want to take for granted that there are 250 mens teams and 250 womens teams that would kill to take our place.
Tickets for tournament games at the Consol Energy Center are sold out, but scalpers outside the arena were selling tickets to the sessions for as low as $60. Fridays announced attendance was 18,820 in the 19,000-seat facility.
K-State fans filled up a small section of the arena behind the Wildcats bench on Thursday.
Im grateful that were still playing, and Im grateful for the tenacity of our team, Currie said. Nothing ever comes easy this time of year, but our group persevered and played defense when it mattered.