TOPEKA, Kan. (THE DRIVE) The men started their tournament birth this season with a win against Wake Forest.
Kamau Stokes scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half of a wide-open game on Tuesday night, and Kansas State's balance was the difference as the Wildcats pulled away to a 95-88 victory over Wake Forest in the First Four.
In a matchup of two versatile offenses, the Wildcats had the most options and hot shooters. Wesley Iwundu added 24 points, and D.J. Johnson scored 18.
Eleventh-seeded K-State (21-13) got its first NCAA Tournament win in five years and a trip to play No. 6 Cincinnati on Friday in Sacramento, which would be their last game of the season.
The Bearcats took care of their business and the No. 6 jinx with an impressive shooting display, shooting 62 percent. Cincinnati is known for its defense and did that, too, preventing Kansas State (21-14) from making much of a run after building a 17-point lead.
The Wildcat's had it close at times, but ultimately lost 75-61. Wesley Iwundu led Kansas State with 19 points, even with getting into early foul trouble.
The lady Cat's had a little better luck defeating Drake on Saturday 67-54. Breanna Lewis had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Kindred Wesemann added 16 points.
Kansas State had the benefit of playing at home, and will again when they take on seed No. 2 Stanford on Monday.
Frank Mason III scored 22 points and had eight assists as top-seeded Kansas won its opening game of the NCAA Tournament for an 11th straight year with a 100-62 victory over UC Davis on Friday night.
Freshman Josh Jackson, making his return after a one-game suspension for an accumulation of embarrassing incidents, added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Jayhawks (29-5).
The win ensures top seeds will remain perfect since the tournament expanded, with the schools now 132-0 against No. 16 seeds. However Villanova did lose their second round to Wisconsin.
Josh Jackson scored 14 of his 23 points in the second half to help Kansas pull away late and reach the Sweet 16 for a second straight year with a 90-70 victory over Michigan State on Sunday.
Frank Mason III added 20 points for the top-seeded Jayhawks (30-4), who have advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in nine of coach Bill Self's 14 seasons.
Devonte' Graham added 18 points and Landen Lucas had 10 for the Jayhawks, who shot 53.1 percent (34 of 64) in the win.
Kentucky rallies and is able to hold off the Shockers and win 65-62, wiping out another Kansas team from the NCAA Tournament. KU is the sole remaining school and will take on Purdue next.