Good morning Wildcats!
It continues to be a very busy and exciting month here at Kansas State and we began the week with some great news as our women's cross country team earned an at-large berth to next week's NCAA Championships for the first time since the 2000 season!
Congratulations to Coach Mike Smith and the team of Martina Tresch, Sydney Messick, Boglarka Bozzay, Avery Clifton and Meghan Heuer, who finished 5th in the Regional meet this past Saturday to punch their ticket. Martina and Sydney earned all-region honors as well by finishing 11th and 15th individually, and Sydney is our only senior from that group so we are very excited about the way the program is developing.
Here are a few more updates from around the department:
Tex Winter Returns to Bramlage
Today's 3 p.m., basketball game with Virginia Tech is not only unique in the fact that we have the opportunity to participate in ESPN's 24 hours of basketball marathon, but also because one of the legendary coaches and innovators in the game of basketball will be returning home to K-State.
Coach Tex Winter will be honored this afternoon in a special halftime tribute as he prepares to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Kansas City. The halftime ceremony will include a special video tribute, on-court presentation and remarks by Mr. K-State, Ernie Barrett. Coach Winter is so special to the history of this University and community, and we are honored to have him back in Manhattan. And if you get a chance, check out Mark Janssen's Sports Extra story at k-statesports.com on Tex - which features comments from Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
Hoops Ticket Update
Our crowds so far at Bramlage have been terrific - we had over 3,500 students in attendance for the men's opener against James Madison and a passionate crowd to see the women's team knock off No. 14 St. John's to win the Commerce Bank Classic this past Saturday.
There are still opportunities for fans to catch the men in action as single-game tickets for three games during the University's holiday semester break are on sale and available for purchase while they last! For $20 per game, or $45 for all three matchups, fans can choose between reserved seats in Section 18 or 25, or general admission tickets in Sections 19-24 as the Wildcats take on UMKC (December 23), North Florida (December 31) and Savannah State (January 3). To purchase tickets to any or all three of these games, visit the K-State Athletics Ticket Office, go online to k-statesports.com or call 1-800-221-CATS. Also, there are still tickets available for the Hy-Vee Wildcat Classic against UNLV on December 21 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Tickets for this highly-anticipated matchup are priced at $30 (lower-level end zone) and $20 (upper level), and can be purchased through the Athletic Ticket Office or Ticketmaster, by calling (800) 745.3000 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com. Group tickets starting at $10 each are also available in the upper level. Tickets are selling fast as we've already sold out of the courtside and lower-level sideline seats!
We also have the Wildcat Weekday 4-Pack for women's games still available. For just $30, fans can get four GA tickets and four concession vouchers, so bring the family out on Wednesday as the Commerce Bank Classic champs take on Indiana State at 7 p.m.
Watch the Colorado and North Texas Football Games
We have had a great year this football season in terms of number of games being selected for television - well above some of the totals from past years. Although this week's football game against Colorado was not selected for one of the conference television windows, we are able to provide a live webcast of the game at k-statesports.com thanks to the cooperation of the Big 12 Conference and the University of Colorado. The live webcast, which will include the audio play-by-play description of Wyatt and Stan from the K-State Sports Network, will be available free to current monthly or annual subscribers to K-State All-Access. Fans who are not subscribers to the service can view the game, and all other exclusive video content available, by registering for either a monthly ($9.95) or annual ($79.95) subscription. To sign up, go to www.k-statesports.com/allaccess and create a login account. Current subscribers can log in to their K-State All-Access account and begin watching the game.
We also were informed this week that the regular season finale at North Texas will be carried in the Sunbelt Conference package on ESPN3.com (formerly ESPN360). Check your local high speed internet provider to see if it carries ESPN3.com. We are pleased that these final games will be available to our fans as there is still so much excitement and anticipation surrounding the final two weeks of the football season.
Bowl Preparations Continue
With the Cats bowl-eligible at 6-4 with two games remaining, it is exciting to begin the process of planning for a bowl game and we strongly encourage our fans to begin their preparations for postseason. Based upon current records and the across-the-board strength of our conference, as many as 9 or 10 Big 12 teams could reach bowl eligibility with several having identical records. There are eight automatic slots for Big 12 teams, and while the conference will certainly work hard to find a post-season home for all Big 12 qualifiers, there are no guarantees. Thus, K-State fans can help by pre-ordering tickets for the bowls they know they would attend if K-State is selected. Being able to communicate tickets "pre-ordered" can be very helpful as we work with our bowl partners to secure the best possible post-season scenario for the Wildcats. Visit www.k-statesports.com/bowlgame for more information.
As a special reward for loyalty and recognition of the important help that our K-State fans provide in this regard, beginning this year all fans ordering bowl tickets by November 30 will receive one "bonus" priority point for each ticket purchased for the bowl K-State attended.
Coach Fritz and the volleyball team have two matches remaining this season and I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank our students and fans for making Ahearn Field House one of the best volleyball venues in the country. We currently are ranked 14th nationally in attendance, third-best in the Big 12, with an average of over 2,100 fans per match. Coach Fritz and our student-athletes have stated many times that the environment at Ahearn is unmatched and truly is a home-court advantage. So, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you tomorrow night at 7 p.m., against Texas A&M and for Senior Night on November 27 against Colorado.
As we approach the end of November, below is a list of our teams that are in action over the next two weeks - be sure to follow the Cats online at k-statesports.com:
• Today - men's basketball vs. Virginia Tech, 3 p.m.
• November 17 - women's basketball vs. Indiana State, 7 p.m.
• November 17 - volleyball vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m.
• November 18 - men's basketball vs. Presbyterian, 7 p.m.
• November 19 - equestrian at Baylor
• November 20 - football at Colorado, volleyball at Oklahoma and equestrian at Texas A&M
• November 21 - women's basketball vs. Western Illinois, 2 p.m.
• November 22 - men's basketball vs. Gonzaga, 8:30 p.m. (Sprint Center in KC)
• November 22 - women's cross country at NCAA Championships
• November 23 - men's basketball vs. Duke or Marquette (Sprint Center in KC)
• November 24 - volleyball at Kansas, 6:30 p.m.
• November 26 - men's basketball vs. Texas Southern, 7 p.m.
• November 27 - football at North Texas and women's basketball at College of Charleston
• November 27 - volleyball vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.
That's it for today. Have a great week - we'll see you in Bramlage, Ahearn, at Folsom Field in Boulder or maybe even in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Monday morning.
We appreciate all that you do for K-State Athletics... and Go Cats!