State four-seed in South Region; open with UC-Irvine

Northeastern's Shawn Occeus celebrates after defeating Hofstra 82-74 in an NCAA college basketball game at the Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball championship Tuesday

With a win, Kansas would face the victor of No. 5 seed Auburn and No. 12 seed New Mexico State in the second round on Saturday. Kansas ultimately fell to Iowa State by a 78-66 margin in the Big 12 championship game. The program has now advanced to the postseason 11 times in the last 13 seasons (nine trips to NCAA Tournament and two to the NIT).

K-State and UC Irvine will tip off at 1 p.m., CT (11 a.m., PT) with the matchup between No. 5 seed Wisconsin and No. 12 seed OR to follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

In K-State's 30 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 a total of 17 times. The team is led by All-Big 12 First Team selections Barry Brown, Jr. Dean Wade's injury status might be the key.

Entering the NCAA tournament, the Jayhawks won three of their last four games, including a pair of contests in the Big 12 tournament. Both teams are heading out west with hopes of surviving the first two rounds.

"I don't think anyone is going to take us lightly when we have 30 wins next to our name", UC Irvine coach Russell Turner said after Saturday's game.

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UC Irvine lost to Kansas State, 71-49, on November 17, 2017 in Manhattan, Kansas as part of the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational. Also in their pod, No. 12 seed OR and No. 5 seed Wisconsin.

Prediction: On paper, UC-Irvine is the type of team that can put a scare into a higher-seeded opponent. Three players are averaging in double figures led by Pac-12 honorable mention selection Louis King (13.1 ppg.), Pac-12 Tournament MVP Payton Prichard (12.7 ppg.) and Paul White (10.6 ppg.). Most recently Morehead State beat Louisville in 2011. Kansas State owns a respectable 4-3 record against AP Top 25 teams this season including wins against Kansas and Texas Tech, but were never tested in non-conference play.

There are four UC Irvine players whose fathers or grandfathers played in the National Basketball Association.

The North Carolina Tar Heels dropped a 74-73 decision to the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC semifinals to go 2-1 against their biggest rivals. Their.857 winning percentage is 10th in Division I.



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