SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) No. 11 seed Kansas State (21-13) vs. No. 6 seed Cincinnati (29-5)
First round, South region; Sacramento, California, 7:27 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Kansas State got its first trip in five years to the NCAA Tournament off to a good start, knocking off Wake Forest 95-88 in the First Four on Tuesday. That leaves the Wildcats just a day to get ready for the Bearcats, one of the nation's toughest defensive teams.
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PLAYING ANGRY: Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin was not happy with his team's ranking, believing it should have been lower. He also was not thrilled that his team, despite playing in the South, would have to play in California. Expect that to be a motivating factor for the Bearcats.
PREMIUM ON SCORING: Cincinnati finished fourth nationally in scoring defense at 60.4 points allowed per game and was eighth in shooting percentage, holding opponents to 38.5 percent. Kansas State was 31st nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com, so don't expect much scoring in this one.
CATS' CONSISTENCY: The outcome of Friday's game could depend on which version of K-State's team shows up. The Wildcats have two wins over Baylor and beat West Virginia, both ranked teams, yet lost by 30 to Oklahoma, the Big 12's ninth-place team.
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