Barry Brown talks about K-State’s NCAA Tournament draw
One and done?
That’s what some media outlets believe could happen to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats, who shared the Big 12 championship with Texas Tech, are a No. 4 seed in the South Region, and face UC Irvine in their first game.
Here is what national basketball writers are saying about Kansas State:
Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post noted that K-State takes most of its shots near the rim and Irvine is the best team in the nation at defending at the rim. Greenberg wrote: “The Anteaters are a terrible draw for Kansas State, and their upset odds are two times better than you would expect for a typical No. 13 seed. Additionally, the Wildcats might be without one of their best players. Dean Wade missed the Big 12 Tournament because of a right foot injury.”
CBS Sports’ SportsLine computer model said the Wildcats are ”fading fast.” Here is part of what it wrote: “Kansas State is shooting just 31.9 percent from three-point range and 40.4 percent from the floor dating back to its loss at Kansas on Feb. 25. The Wildcats are also not a particularly effective rebounding team, which could pose trouble in potential dates with 13 seed UC Irvine and 5-seed Wisconsin, teams that have size and rebound it well.
“That’s a big reason why the model thinks K-State has the lowest chance of advancing to the round of 32 and Sweet 16 of any 4 seed. The model says the Wildcats only win their opening-round game 71.2 percent of the time and make it out of the opening weekend in just 25 percent of simulations.”
In his look at every team in the tournament, ESPN’s Myron Medcalf wrote in part: “This is not the déjà vu that Bruce Weber anticipated. A year after reaching the Elite Eight without star Dean Wade, another Wildcats team will enter the NCAA Tournament with its veteran leader nursing a foot injury that could affect his playing time.”
Nate Williamson of FanSided believes the Wildcats could pose a problem for top seed Virginia. He wrote: “Another team on upset alert is Virginia if [it meets] up with Kansas State where coach Bruce Weber is no stranger to high-pressure situations and will be looking for another deep tournament run to add to his resume.”
In its breakdown of the South Region, the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote of Kansas State: “The Wildcats won a share of the title despite being last in free-throw shooting percentage and ninth in three-point percentage. ... KSU was second in scoring defense, allowing 59.1 ppg.”
Jay Bilas took a closer look at each game for ESPN+ (subscription required). Here is part of what he wrote about K-State: “The Wildcats allowed only 7.2 second-chance points per game, second fewest among major conference teams. Barry Brown takes on the opposition’s best wing and Dean Wade, when healthy, is one of the best passing big guys in the country. UC Irvine can beat Kansas State, but the Wildcats should move forward.”