Kansas draws 4-seed, Northeastern in NCAA first round

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

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

Kansas and K-State are tournament ready to traverse the perilous road to the Final Four.

The Kansas State Wildcats enter the tournament as a #4 seed, finishing the year with a 25-8 overall record, which included wins over Vanderbilt and Missouri as well as losses to Marquette and Tulsa. If the Cats advance out the Midwest Region, they'd play the victor of the South Region, which is topped by Virginia, Tennessee, Purdue and Kansas State.

UC Irvine earned the right to represent the Big West Conference in the NCAA Tournament by winning 15 of their 16 conference regular season games and winning the Big West Tournament in convincing fashion. Kansas was a 1 seed the last three years straight. Can UC Irvine pull off an upset over the No.4-seeded Wildcats in San Jose on Friday? Max Hazzard leads UC-Irvine in scoring with 12.2 points per game while Evan Leonard is 2nd with 11.1 points per game as UC-Irvine's only other double-digit scorer this season. The Anteaters have scored 106.6 points per 100 possessions (125th in the NCAA) for the season and 111.5 points per 100 possessions versus Big West opponents (1st in the Big West). The Wildcats were forced to play the conference tournament without Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Dean Wade, who has battled injuries for the better part of the last two seasons. Eyassu Worku leads the Anteaters in assists with 2.7 assists per game and Jonathan Galloway leads UC-Irvine in rebounding with 7.7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Kansas State is averaging 65.8 points per game on 43.1% shooting from the field, 33.6% from behind the arc and 66.4% from the foul line this season. The Wildcats ranked No. 23 in the latest KenPom rankings despite ranking outside of the top-100 in terms of offensive efficiency.

There's no doubting that Kansas State is one of the elite defensive teams in the country and that UC-Irvine has their work cut out for themselves in this one.

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