This Week in K-State Sports: Nine teams in action, three compete in postseason play

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Nine out of the 12 K-State teams will be in action this week including three teams competing in the postseason. (Infographic by Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

Men’s Golf

After finishing in seventh place at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate on Feb. 16, the Kansas State men’s golf team had a nearly three-week break. The Wildcats return to action on Monday and Tuesday, competing at the Spartan Collegiate at the par-72, 7,060 yard Sea Island Resort in Sea Island, Georgia.

14 teams will join K-State at the Collegiate, including four teams receiving votes in the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches poll — Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern and Notre Dame. Big 12 foe Iowa State will also compete.

Junior Will Hopkins who finished tied for ninth at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate, a career-best, while shooting a 211, the lowest 54-hole score of the season for the Wildcats, will head the lineup in the one slot. Sophomore Tim Tillmanns, freshman Luke O’Neill, senior George Clarke and sophomore Riccardo Leo will also compete.

Monday’s first and second rounds start at 8 a.m., followed by another 8 a.m. start for Tuesday’s final round.

Baseball

The Wildcats (6-4) are on a two-game slide following 6-5 and 14-7 losses to Eastern Illinois (7-5).

The Wildcats play in six games this week — a stretch to find out what this team is made of. The week starts for the Batcats with two games against South Dakota State (5-5) on Tuesday and Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium, both starting at 6 p.m. airing on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ as well as on KMAN radio.

K-State will then travel to Houston, Texas, for four games in three days at Reckling Park. Starting off with games against Northern Illinois (1-5) on Friday at noon and on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Wildcats will then turn around and play Rice at 4 p.m. Saturday, the first doubleheader of the season. K-State will then close out the weekend against Rice again on Sunday at 2 p.m. Each game in Texas can be heard on KMAN radio.

Men’s Basketball

Closing out the season winning three out of the last four games, including an upset victory over No. 7 Oklahoma (14-9, 9-8), the Kansas State men’s basketball team showed improvement since losing 13 straight games. Now the Wildcats (8-19, 6-12) enter the postseason and look to make a miraculous run to close the season in the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Missouri.

Entering the Big 12 Championship field as the No. 9 seed, the Wildcats will square off with a familiar opponent — No. 8 seed TCU (12-13, 5-11). The Wildcats and the Horned Frogs met last season in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, with K-State winning what turned out to be the final Big 12 game of the year, 53-49.

K-State also took down TCU to end its 13-game losing skid on Feb. 20, defeating the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas, 62-54. The winner of Wednesday’s Big 12 Championship opener will move on to the quarterfinal on Thursday and take on No. 1 seeded Baylor (21-1, 13-1) at 1:30 p.m.

If K-State pulls off an unforeseen upset over Baylor on Thursday, the Wildcats will move on to Friday’s semifinal game that will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. with the championship game taking place at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. Wednesday’s Big 12 Championship opener will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. and is televised nationally on ESPN.

Women’s Basketball

After being predicted to finish fourth in the Big 12 this year, the Kansas State women’s basketball team ended up finishing last in the Big 12 following a 90-81 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma (12-11, 9-8 Big 12) on Sunday. A tiebreaker with Kansas pushed K-State out of the ninth-place spot in the Big 12 after KU (7-17, 3-15 Big 12) defeated Oklahoma.

Being pushed out of that ninth spot means that the Wildcats are the No. 10 seed in the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Missouri. from March 11 to March 14. The Wildcats will take on No. 7 seeded Texas Tech on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The Wildcats upended the Red Raiders on Feb. 24 at home 86-79 in their most recent meeting. Texas Tech also has its own win over the Wildcats this season, winning the Feb. 3 matchup in Lubbock, Texas, 83-75 in overtime.

If K-state can knock off Texas Tech on Thursday, the team will advance to the quarterfinal round on Friday, with the semifinal rounds taking place on Saturday and the championship on Sunday. Thursday’s Big 12 Championship opener for the two teams will be broadcasted on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Track and Field

Five athletes from the K-State track and field team will compete in the NCAA Division I indoor track and field championships running from Thursday to Saturday at the Randal Tyson Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Four women and one man make up the group of athletes competing this weekend.

The lone man competing is senior Tejaswin Shankar who looks to cap off the season with a championship in the long jump and triple jump events. Shankar comes into the championships as the No. 3 seed in the high jump with a seed distance of 2.25 meters, while also coming in as the No. 12 seed in the triple jump with a seed distance of 16.09 meters.

The men’s high jump prelims and finals start at 2 p.m. Friday, while the men’s triple jump prelims and finals will start at 1 p.m. Saturday. The four women competing over the weekend include junior Chantoba Bright who will compete in the women’s long jump and triple jump.

Bright is the No. 8 seed in the long jump that starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday. She is also the No. 5 seed in the triple jump that starts at 5 p.m. Saturday with a seed mark of 13.60 meters.

Joining her in the long jump is senior Taishia Price, the No. 12 seed with a seed mark of 6.37 meters, while freshman Rhianna Phipps joins Bright in the triple jump as the No. 7 seed with a seed mark of 13.52 meters.

Junior Victoria Alves rounds out the women competing as she is the No. 15 seed in the 60-meter hurdles with a seed time of 8.11 seconds. The prelims start at 7:15 p.m. Friday, with the finals being at 6:10 p.m. Saturday.

The whole weekend will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.

Tennis

Winners of four straight tournaments, the K-State tennis team hit a two-week-long stretch of canceled or postponed matches. Matches at Washington (7-3, 0-2 Pac 12) and Washington State (6-5, 1-1 Pac 12) on Feb. 26 and 28 were canceled, while the Wildcats match at SMU (7-6, 1-0 AAC) was postponed on March 3.

This week, the Wildcats (4-2) will get its first test of Big 12 action, taking on Texas Tech (7-3, 1-0) in Lubbock, Texas, on Friday, and TCU (6-5, 0-1) in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday, breaking the hiatus.

The Wildcats met with Texas Tech prior to the beginning of match play in the 2021 spring season, meeting the Red Raiders at the Big 12/Pac 12 Dual on Jan. 11. The Wildcats picked up three singles victories against the Red Raiders in the preseason meeting.

Each team finds itself ranked inside the Oracle/ITA Division I women’s tennis rankings, as K-State sits at No. 42, Texas Tech sits at No. 29 and TCU sits at No. 48.

Soccer

The K-State soccer team opened up the spring portion of its season on Saturday night against in-state rival Kansas at Buser Family Park. The matchup between the two rivals counted for each team’s non-conference records as the Big 12 only allowed for conference matches in their fall season.

K-State (3-7, 3-6) fell to the Jayhawks (6-3-1, 5-3-1) in the opener 2-0 after giving up two late goals. Now both teams meet up again in Lawrence at noon on March 13 with the Wildcats looking to avenge the recent loss.

The Wildcats look a lot different on the pitch in the spring compared to the fall, having lost seven players and adding two transfers. Senior Brookelynn Entz decided to stay for the 2021 season after being drafted by KC NWSL.

Rowing

The Kansas State rowing team will open up its 2021 season this weekend in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with the Oklahoma Scrimmage on Saturday, March 13. This is the sixth consecutive season the Wildcats competed in the Oklahoma Scrimmage.

After having the spring and fall seasons wiped out because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wildcats will finally get some competition under its belts for the first time since the Sac State Duel on March 8, 2020. In that competition, the Wildcats brought home two victories.

Volleyball

The K-State volleyball team opened up its spring season on Thursday last week with a 3-2 defeat to Sun Belt champions Texas State. After leading 2-0 going into the third set, the Wildcats (10-7, 10-6) fell apart as the Bobcats (27-4, 15-1 Sun Belt) stormed back to steal the victory from the Wildcats.

K-State will get its second opportunity at victory this spring season with a match against Saint Louis (7-6, 6-1 A10) on Sunday at Bramlage Coliseum. The Billikens are currently 7-6 on the season after finally starting the season on Jan. 31 with the fall season being wiped out because of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Sunday’s match is set for a 2 p.m. start time and will be broadcasted on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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Hey! I’m Cameron Bradley and I am the sports editor for the Collegian! I am a junior from Wichita, Kansas, and I am majoring in journalism. When I’m not working for the Collegian, I’m creating content and putting on broadcasts with K-StateHD.TV. I am also currently a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. I love sports, spending time with friends, family and doing everything that I do for the glory of God!