Coach Wooldridge Addresses NIT Snub

Kansas State basketball coach Jim Wooldridge was armed and ready to fire verbal bullets at the National Invitational Tournament Monday afternoon.

To the Kansas State fans, Wooldridge said, "I want our people to understand that the team did well enough, the fans did well enough, our coaches did their job, but we weren't rewarded.

Wooldridge's research shows that Kansas State is the first team in the history of the Big 12 Conference to have won six regular-season league games, plus a game in the postseason tournament, and have a plus-.500 record overall, and not be involved in any form of postseason play.

To that, Wooldridge said, "Kansas State University deserves to be in postseason play."

The Wildcat coach also pointed out that Kansas State had played 22 of its 29 games against teams that are involved in postseason play or members of a BCS conference.

And, he said K-State played 15 games against teams in postseason play, six of the Wildcat wins were against teams in postseason play, the 'Cats went 4-1 against teams in the NIT, and had a better RPI ranking (No. 108) in the updated listing released on Monday.

"To me," Wooldridge said, "not being in (postseason play) is embarrassing. In my mind, it's just not right."

Wooldridge personally called each of the Wildcat players Sunday night with the "surprising and disappointing" news that they would not be involved in the NIT.

"It was a bitter pill for them to swallow," Wooldridge said. "This group played a very competitive schedule, played in the second or third toughest conference in the nation, and improved as the season went on.

"I just don't want our people to think this was a bad basketball team," Wooldridge said. "They developed into a good team."

He then added, "I do not think it was the strength of schedule. Did we play Duke 11 times? No, and we're not going to. That's not what Kansas State needs to do. But to use strength of schedule as the reason ... to me, that's nonsense."

Wooldridge added, "For Kansas State University, it's unfortunate that this team is not a part of postseason play."

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