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Kansas State 95, Wake Forest 88
28 March 2017, 12:49 | Ignacio Smith
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Coach Bruce Weber started planting the motivational seeds about playing in the First Four well before his Kansas State team made the NCAA tournament field. Their confidence remained strong on Saturday.
When the selection show reached its midpoint and the Wildcats still hadn't been shown on the bracket, doubt and fear began to creep into their minds.
"Sitting and waiting for the first round wouldn't have been good for us", senior guard Carlbe Ervin said. I think it's going to be key.
And who could forget La Salle, the team that stunned K-State in the first round three years ago in Kansas City's Sprint Center? Which means K-State made 25 of 31 from 2-point range. The victor will face the No. 6 seed SMU Mustangs in Tulsa.
You can catch the Wake Forest vs. Kansas State game on Mar. 14 at 9:10pm EST online through the NCAA's March Madness Live via your cable provider.
The 11th seeded Wildcats now advance to the first round where they will take on the sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats Friday in Sacramento, California.
The best performance however might have came from Wesley Iwundu. "It is a big-time accomplishment for me, for my teammates, for the seniors just to go out on this note". We are not done yet, but we are happy we are in the NCAA Tournament.
K-State will now have a few days off before they take on Cincinnati on Friday.
But that hardly mattered to anyone wearing purple on Sunday.
"It was good for us to be on our feet already", Iwundu said after scoring 24 points. "What more can you ask for?" That's 80.6 percent. Reminded me of Eddie Sutton's 1992 Cowboys, who made 28 of 35 shots for an entire NCAA Tournament game against Tulane and ran a virtual layup line in Atlanta's now-gone Omni. If he has success, and we win, people are going to notice. It's in our face now.
K-State's first test comes against Wake Forest, which went 19-13 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Coach Danny Manning has told his team to soak in the experience.
Exceeding expectations all season, the Demon Deacons are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 as a giant mystery.
John Collins led Wake Forest with 26 points and nine rebounds. For questions or assistance, please contact the K-State Ticket Office by calling 1.800.221.CATS. He is looking forward to the opportunity after watching past teams win in Dayton and go on to bigger things.
Kansas eventually lost to Duke in the Final Four. The Privateers got into the Southland Conference, though, and in their fourth year in the conference, they're in the Big Dance for the first time since 1996.
The travel schedule will be hectic getting there, though.
And they met in Dayton, and Kansas State flew the flag proudly for the Big 12.
In his five seasons at Southern Illinois, Weber led the Salukis to consecutive Missouri Valley Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003, including a Sweet Sixteen finish in 2002.
"I thought he was much more active in the second half", said Manning on what changed for his star forward in the second half. "D.J".
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