Kansas State University

K-State, Kansas headed to St. Louis for NCAA openers

Kansas State will open the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis against a tradition-rich opponent. A victory will likely lead to a game against an in-state foe.

The Wildcats are a No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region. They will begin the NCAA Tournament against No. 8 seed Kentucky.

Kentucky is a surprising draw, considering it opened the season with sky-high expectations. Some fans made T-shirts predicting it would go undefeated. That wasn't the case, as it went 24-10 and lost four of its last seven games.

If K-State can slip by Kentucky, it will likely see No. 1 Wichita State in the following round.

Wichita State and K-State haven't played since 2003.

Meanwhile, it’s the rematch region for Kansas.

The Jayhawks landed as the No. 2 seed in the South Region. KU will face Eastern Kentucky in the round of 64 on Friday in St. Louis. If the Jayhawks advance, they will face the winner of No. 7 seed New Mexico and No. 10 Stanford on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16 in Memphis, Tenn.

Kansas already defeated New Mexico 80-63 at the Sprint Center on Dec. 14.

The Jayhawks could also face a rematch against No. 1 seed Florida in a regional final — if both teams advance that far. The Jayhawks lost 67-61 on Dec. 10 in Gainesville, Fla.

Another team that beat Kansas is also in the South: No. 8 seed Colorado, which likely would face Florida in the round of 32 if the Buffaloes beat No. 9 seed Pittsburgh on Friday.

Kansas had been a No. 1 seed in five of the last seven seasons. The Jayhawks were a No. 4 seed in 2009 and a No. 2 seed in 2012, when they advanced to the NCAA championship game in New Orleans.

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