K-State Earns A #4 Bid

Kansas State enters the Big 12 Championship this week in Oklahoma City as the No. 4 seed, but still likely needing three wins in three days for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Bracketology is underway with Kansas State fighting to make the Big Dance while teams KSU has defeated are getting in...

Funny game, this Bracketology selection process is.

Texas, the No. 5 Big 12 seed and a team K-State defeated in Austin, is in ... but not Kansas State.

Oklahoma State, the No. 6 Big 12 seed is in ... but not Kansas State.

Texas A&M, the No. 7 Big 12 seed and a team K-State defeated in College Station, is in ... but not Kansas State.

No, to this point, Kansas State, the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Championship this week looks to have the task of winning three straight games to get into the NCAA Tournament.

That will begin on Thursday at 2 p.m. when the Wildcats will play Wednesday's winner between Texas and Colorado.

While K-State is 9-7 in the Big 12 and 21-10 for the year, the fact is it has only a 1-4 record against teams ranked No. 1-25, a 2-1 mark against teams ranked No. 26-50, and just five have been against teams in the Top 100 in the RPI listing.

In defending K-State's schedule, Martin said that Wagner, Gardner-Webb, Cleveland State and Oakland were all preseason picks to win their respective conferences.

"Those were good teams. It's not my fault they fell apart, but it hurts our RPI," Martin said. "When we scheduled those teams, we expected them to be good wins for us ... Top 100 wins ... but they haven't had good years."

He continued, "It's not my fault that Kentucky hasn't had the type of season that was expected. It's not my fault Iowa's best player flunked out and its center got hurt. I can't control those things. It's not my fault Oregon had a bad year."

What Martin does admit is that K-State didn't take care of business when it had a chance against Kentucky, Iowa and Oregon, and when the Wildcats opened Big 12 play with losses to Nebraska and Baylor.

But he adds, "If you're in the Big 12, Big East or ACC, and go 9-3 in your last 12 games, you've done something right. That means you're a pretty darn good team. If you reward teams for winning good games, then being in a power conference should be as important as anything else. If it's all about non-conference games, then we all should be Independents."

The bottom line, Martin says, is, "You can only cry over things you can control. We should have played better in the last 3:45 at Oklahoma State, in the middle minutes against Kentucky, and at the end of the Iowa game, but we didn't. We have no one to blame but ourselves." However, Martin adds, "If fourth-place is not good enough to get you in, there's a problem in being in a big league."

For the record, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has upped the number of Big 12 entries from four, three weeks ago, to six in his bracket published on Friday. Six teams, but not Kansas State.

Lunardi has No. 1 seed Oklahoma, No. 3 seeds Kansas and Missouri, No. 8 seed Texas, No. 9 seed Oklahoma State and No. 11 seed Texas A&M. In fact, with K-State's No. 77 RPI and No. 97 Strength of Schedule, the Wildcats are no longer on Lunardi's "First Four Out" list (Arizona, Kentucky, Providence and San Diego State), or, his "Next Four Out" grouping (Virginia Tech, Miami, Rhode Island and Saint Mary's.

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