We’ll have in-depth analysis of Kansas State in the coming days, but here are ten quick things to know about Kentucky’s Sweet 16 opponent.
1. Their defense is good…but their offense?
Kansas State’s defense is the reason they’re in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats held a high-scoring Creighton team to 59 points in the first round and a UMBC team that flummoxed 1-seed Virginia to 43 last night. The Retrievers managed only two field goals in the final six minutes and shot 29.8 percent for the game.
On the flip side, the Wildcats are struggling to score themselves. While they rank 46th in the country in scoring defense, holding opponents to 66.9 points per game, they rank 241st in scoring offense, averaging only 71.6 points per game. Last night, they hit only one of twelve threes and turned over the ball 18 times. Part of the problem is…
2. They’ve been without lead scorer Dean Wade
Wade missed Kansas State’s first two tournament games because of a foot injury. The junior big man is averaging 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Last night, Wade said there’s a “98 percent” chance he’ll play vs. Kentucky on Thursday night:
Chances of Dean Wade playing against Kentucky: “98 percent” pic.twitter.com/PUm98bluKK
— Kellis Robinett (@KellisRobinett) March 19, 2018
Yeah, he’s playing.
3. ESPN thinks they’re the worst team left in the tournament
“The Wildcats dominated Creighton in the opening round, also without Wade, who is dealing with a foot injury,” Medcalf wrote. “If Kansas State duplicates Sunday’s effort, however, when it faces Kentucky in the Sweet 16, Bruce Weber’s team will lose by 20-plus.”
4. It will be the battle of the staple remover Wildcats
Kansas State’s logo doesn’t look like two birds fornicating, but…
5. Their costumed mascot is the worst in college sports
Seriously, where is the rest of his outfit? I can’t wait to make fun of this all week.
6. Kentucky last faced them in the 2014 NCAA Tournament
The Cats’ improbable run to the 2014 NCAA Championship game started with Kansas State in St. Louis. Kentucky won 56-49 thanks to a double double from Julius Randle. If you remember, Kentucky actually started that game 1-0 because Kansas State’s Brian Rohleder got a technical for dunking in warm-ups, which sent Aaron Harrison to the line to start the game.
7. Bruce Weber may have started the Anthony Davis rumors
Remember all those rumors about Anthony Davis and a $200,000 duffel bag deal to come to Kentucky? According to Gregg Doyel, Bruce Weber — then at Illinois — may have been behind those.
With all the turmoil facing the sports, odds that comes up at all this week?
8. BPI gives Kentucky a 71.6% chance of winning
9. Bruce Weber didn’t even know where the regional was
After his team beat UMBC to advance to the Sweet 16, Weber claimed he didn’t know where the South Regional was.
“Coach, you talked about the unpredictability of a 16 beating a 1. Obviously that’s never happened before this weekend. This will be the first regional ever where there’s no top 4 seeds in Atlanta next weekend.”
“Is that where we’re going?” Weber asked.
“Yes. From that standpoint –”
“I haven’t looked at it. I’m being honest.”
10. Kentucky has NEVAH LOST to them