SAN JOSE, Calif. (WIBW) -- It seems there's one high-seed team each year in the NCAA Tournament that's consistently counted out.
Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber takes hold of the Big 12 trophy following an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, March 9, 2019. Kansas State defeated Oklahoma 68-53. Kansas State shares the regular season title with Texas Tech. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
This year that team is Kansas State. To a few of the Wildcats, it's been a recurring theme throughout the season.
Multiple outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and even CBS Sports' computer model, have predicted K-State to fall in the first round.
But all of that talk has turned into fuel for the Big 12 regular season co-champions.
"Even when we won the league it was like, 'Texas Tech is the better team,'" said Bruce Weber, KSU head coach. "We've not gotten any respect all year. I'm not sure why, (...) but this group has endured to deal with all the things we had to do.
"It's pretty impressive and I'm proud of them. We know that if we play the way we can, I think we can beat anybody in the country."
For seasoned vet Barry Brown, though, it's been fuel for quite a while.
"Honestly, I don't really care, man," Brown said. "It is what it is. I've been at the lowest of the lows and then made it last year to the Elite 8.
"We've been at the top of the Big XII all year and people try to bring us down."
With the same mentality as last year (and also missing Dean Wade again), the Wildcats begin what the team hopes is a long and successful run in March--and that run starts with UC-Irvine.
The Wildcats play on Friday at 1 p.m. CT on TBS.
- Cox: Ch. 29
- AT&T U-verse: Ch. 112
- Dish Network: Ch. 139
- Direct TV: Ch. 247