Kansas, K-State, and Wichita State will all play in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Demon Deacons (19-13) will have to beat fellow No. 11 seed Kansas State (20-13) in Dayton, Ohio, at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday to reach the first round.
The victor of that game will be the No. 11 seed in the South regional and will take on the sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats Friday at 6:27 p.m.in Sacramento, California.
"I'm pretty sure I can ask coach Manning for some film, he'll definitely bring it up", Collins said with a laugh, "but that was pretty wonderful what he did". It is your goal every year to be in the NCAA tournament.
For Iwundu, this is the payoff for sticking with a program that not all of his teammates did. The Wildcats learned their NCAA Tournament assignment Sunday night and traveled to Dayton on Monday.
Scouting and preparation are two of the biggest challenges facing K-State this week.
"I'm thrilled for our kids and for our coaches that they get the opportunity". Kansas State's Bruce Weber was an assistant at Purdue when Manning led Kansas to the national title. "It's been an up-and-down, all-around type season, and they have stayed the course". The Demon Deacons are 160th in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency but eighth on offense.
"I appreciate the players and our staff", Weber said.
The match-up provides a quick turnaround for the Wildcats, who will meet a hot Wake Forest team that has won four of five. They Demon Deacons are 19-13, but they've played a hard schedule with wins over Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech and no bad losses.
Wake Forest's unquestioned leader is John Collins, the 6'10 forward who is almost averaging a double-double. He hasn't failed to score in double figures since January 11. Beyond that, though, the sophomore guard can't tell you much.
"I was probably the happiest in the room", Iwundu said.
"We've actually seen them play a lot throughout the whole year", Iwundu said.
Players to watch: Collins might have been as good as any player in the ACC. Danny Manning took Tulsa to the NCAA Tournament in 2014, and now he has Wake Forest dancing in his third season - the school's first tourney bid since 2010. 8 Louisville, 88-81. Collins posted 25 points and 11 rebounds in the win, while guard Mitchell Wilbekin (7 ppg) sealed it with a deep 3-pointer. Both will likely be called upon against Wake Forest. Senior forward D.J. Johnson, one of two K-State players who have played in the tournament, said he is grateful to return to the Big Dance. "We are ready to do some things". "We just have to go take it".
"It's always motivation, but we're in, so what more can you ask for?" he said.
Once again, the First Four features the four lowest-rated conference champions (No. 16 seeds playing for the right to face a No. 1) and the last four at-large teams in the bracket (No. 11 seeds playing for the right to face a No. 6). "It's there in our face and we have to go take it".
Carlbe Ervin and Isaiah Maurice have provided K-State with unexpected lifts in recent games. After they knocked off Baylor on Thursday night, the Wildcats were too much to overlook. The Wildcats were a No. 9 seed that year and lost to No. 8 Kentucky, 56-49, in the first round.
"You can't go through everything", Weber said.