Today is the official start of the NCAA men’s Division I college basketball tournament. 16 seed Mount St. Mary’s will play against 16 seed New Orleans at 6:40et and the winner will play against 1 seed Villanova. Following this performance, the 11 seed Kansas State Wildcats will be up against the 11 seed Demon Deacons of Wake Forest in what should be a very physical and interesting game. If you haven’t seen either team play much this year or even at all, here’s what you need to know.
Let’s start with Wake Forest. The Deacs (19-13) are making their 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2010. They have an all-time record of 28-22 in the event, and the 11 seed is the lowest in their NCAA history. Danny Manning, who is in his third season, is the head coach for the Demon Deacons. His record in those three seasons is 43-51(.457 winning percentage). One name you should know: John Collins. Collins, First Team All-ACC & Most Improved, is just a sophomore but he’s putting up some impressive stats. At 6’10”, 235 pounds, he’s leading the team in field goal shooting (54.7%) and averages 18.9 ppg with 9.8 rbg. Collins is also projected to be a lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft.
The Kansas State Wildcats (20-13) are making their 36th postseason appearance, 29 in the NCAA tournament and seven in the NIT. K-State has posted a 33-32 all-time in NCAA tournament play. This is also the 7th time in the past 11 seasons the Wildcats have made it to the “big dance”. Led by head coach, Bruce Weber, who has won over 400 games in his career and has made 11 NCAA tournament appearances. He’s been at Kansas State since 2012 and this tenure has posted a record of 99-67 (.596). One name you should know: Wesley Iwundu. A member of the All Big 12 Third-Team, Iwundu has spent four seasons at K-State and is averaging 12.5 ppg and 6.4 rbg.
This is the first meeting between the two schools and they will be playing in Dayton, Ohio at the UD Arena. It will broadcasted live on TruTV tonight at 9:10et.