K-State Earns Highest NCAA Seed

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State men's basketball team was rewarded for their successful 2009-10 season on Sunday night, as the Wildcats earned their 24th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their second in the last three seasons by receiving an at-large bid to the tournament.

Fans wishing to purchase all-session tickets should go to the Ford Center's website at www.okfordcenter.com/ or through Ticketmaster's site at www.ticketmaster.com.

Kansas State (26-7, 11-5 Big 12) was selected as a No. 2 seed in the West Region and will travel to Oklahoma City, Okla., to play No. 15 seed North Texas (24-8, 13-5 Sun Belt) at Ford Center (18,203) on Thursday, March 18. The winner will advance to play either No. 7 seed BYU (29-5, 13-3 Mountain West) or No. 10 seed Florida (21-12, 9-7 SEC) on Saturday, March 20. BYU and Florida will open play on Thursday at 11:20 a.m. CT, while K-State and North Texas will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The four schools will be joined at the venue by No. 1 seed Kansas, No. 8 seed UNLV, No. 9 seed Northern Iowa and No. 16 seed Lehigh of the Midwest Regional. The other top three seeds in the West Regional are No. 1 Syracuse, No. 3 Pittsburgh and No. 4 Vanderbilt.

Kansas State is making its 31st postseason appearance, which includes 24 in the NCAA Tournament and seven in the Postseason NIT. It marks the fourth straight postseason appearance for the Wildcats and the first in the NCAA Tournament since losing to No. 3 seed Wisconsin, 72-55, in the second round of the Midwest Regional in Omaha, Neb., on March 22, 2008. The program has posted a 28-27 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play, including a 9-4 mark in first round games. The school will be making its fifth appearance in the West Region and first since 1987 with an 8-6 record all-time. The No. 2 seed is the highest for K-State since seeding began in 1979, surpassing the previous high of a No. 4 seed in 1988. It marks just the sixth time that the Wildcats have earned a seeding of eight or better in the NCAA Tournament.

In Kansas State's 23 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 a total of 16 times. The program has also reached the Elite Eight 11 times, made four Final Four appearances and played in one National Championship game appearance (1951).

This will be the seventh all-time meeting between K-State and North Texas on the hardwood with the Wildcats holding a 5-1 edge in the series. The squad has won four straight in the series, including an 84-70 victory in the last meeting at home on Dec. 15, 2001. The two schools have never met on a neutral site or in the NCAA Tournament. K-State has faced BYU six times, including once in the NCAA Tournament back in 1951, with the all-time series tied at 3-all. The Wildcats have never faced Florida on the hardwood. This will mark the second time K-State has played in an NCAA Tournament game in Oklahoma City with the last coming to Marquette in the second round in 1977 at the Myriad, while this will be the third time the squad has played in Ford Center following the trips to the 2007 and 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships.

The Wildcats were one of a Big 12-record seven teams to earn berths in tournament, joining No. 1 seed Kansas (Midwest), No. 3 Baylor (South), No. 5 Texas A&M (South), No. 7 Oklahoma State (Midwest), No. 8 Texas (East) and No. 10 Missouri (East) in the field. Since 2000, there have been 34 occasions when a league has sent six or more teams to the NCAA Championship and the Big 12 is tied with the Big East and the SEC for the most six-team seasons during that span.

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