Wildcats aim for Big 12 Basketball Championship, NCAA Tournament

K-State Alumni Communications and K-State Athletics Communications

Freshman Barry Brown handles the ball during the Feb. 13 game at Oklahoma State. The Wildcats fell in overtime, 58-55. (Photo: K-State Athletics Communications)

March Madness is the ultimate battleground for college basketball, narrowing the best teams in the country down to the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and, ultimately, the NCAA Champion. 

The Kansas State University basketball teams always hope for a spot in this tournament, which begins March 15 for the men and March 18 for the women. First, however, they will face the Big 12 Championships; the men’s championships are March 9-12 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, and the women will compete March 4-7 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. 

The Big 12 is packed with talent this season, and the Wildcats have had to play hard at home and on the road. For the men’s team, conference play has included some tough, close losses to West Virginia on Jan. 2, Texas on Jan. 5, and Baylor on Jan. 20. However, the ’Cats have never stopped fighting, and they’ve pulled off some heart-pounding victories over Texas Tech on Jan. 12, Oklahoma State on Jan. 23, and Ole Miss on Jan. 30. 

At the beginning of the season, men’s head coach Bruce Weber recognized the Big 12 would offer some tough competition. 

“I think I say this every year, but the schedule will again be very challenging,” he said. “…The league should once again be one of the best, if not the best, in the country. I think this year more than ever, it doesn’t matter what team you play on a given day, you better be ready to play at a high level every day to be successful.”

Junior Kindred Wesemann charges down the court during the Feb. 13 match-up with KU. The Sunflower Showdown ended with a Wildcat victory, 81-67. (Photo: K-State Athletics Communications)
Although the women also have dealt with some early conference losses to Iowa State on Dec. 30, TCU on Jan. 2, and West Virginia on Jan. 6, they’ve pulled off some exciting victories against Oklahoma State on Jan. 13 and Texas Tech on Jan. 24. The Wildcats also won both of their match-ups with KU. 

“Both teams were pretty amped up early; I thought both teams had a lot of energy early,” women’s head coach Jeff Mittie said after the KU game Feb. 13. “… We did a lot of good things tonight, in terms of getting the ball to where we had advantages. … I think we’re in a better place offensively.”

Keep an eye on the Wildcat men’s and women’s teams in the upcoming Big 12 Championships. Stay up to date on March Madness news and find out if the K-State men or women will be headed to the NCAA Tournament. 

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