Happy March Madness!
First off, I want to congratulate Big 12 Coach of the Year Bruce Weber and our men's basketball team on their Big 12 Championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament as well as Coach Patterson and our women's team on persevering and earning a bid to the WNIT. Both teams will be playing this week in our own backyard -- we hope to see you Thursday night at Bramlage for the 7 p.m. WNIT battle with Texas Southern and then Friday afternoon at the Sprint Center in Kansas City for our NCAA Second Round matchup at 2:10 p.m. against either La Salle or Boise State.
I would like to thank our fans for both their patience and persistence in securing their seats in the Sprint Center for what is a very hot and tough ticket in Kansas City this weekend. For those in the area, with or without tickets to the tournament, be sure and come to the Power and Light District Friday at 12:15 p.m. for a pregame pep rally!
As both our men's and women's basketball programs prepare for their upcoming postseason contests, I would like to take a moment and look back on what has been an exciting year so far for our athletics programs. With Big 12 Championships in football and men's basketball YOUR K-State Wildcats became just the third school in league history -- and just the 11th BCS school since 1996 -- to win regular season league titles in those two sports during the same academic year. Add in another NCAA Tournament appearance in volleyball and a postseason berth for our women's basketball team and YOUR K-State Wildcats are just one of 12 schools in the nation to go to a bowl game, advance to the NCAA Tournament in men's basketball and volleyball and earn a trip to the postseason in women's basketball!
And, we still have the remainder of the spring season to add to those accolades as baseball, tennis, golf, track and field, rowing and equestrian continue their schedules.
Now on to a few more updates from around the department which includes new photos from the West Stadium Center construction!
Chambers Named All-Region
Brittany Chambers, who was recently named a First-Team All-Big 12 and Academic All-Big 12 selection as well as the inaugural Big 12 Women's Basketball Scholar Athlete of the Year, added to her resume this week after being named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region 5 team and also a finalist for All-America honors from the WBCA. Brittany has had a remarkable career at K-State and she and fellow senior Mariah White will lead the Cats one more time in their careers when the Cats open WNIT play Thursday night at Bramlage against Texas Southern. Click here for ticket information, while fans can also watch the action live on K-StateHD.TV.
Seven Wildcats Earn Big 12 Academic Honor
Last week, the Big 12 Conference announced the recipients of its highest academic honor this week and seven Wildcats made the grade in receiving the Dr. Gerald Lage Award. Coach Sweeney's rowing team had the most recipients with three followed by two football players and two men's golfers. Representing the rowing team were Katie Arrow, a senior majoring in management, Allison Dorau, a junior elementary education major and Samantha McCloud, a senior earning her master's degree in architecture. Football was represented by Ethan Hammes, a senior studying agriculture business, and Jared Loomis, a senior civil engineering major. David Klaudt, a junior accounting major, and Daniel Wood, a junior majoring in social sciences, received the award for the men's golf team. Congrats to these student-athletes!
Coach Snyder Receives Award from KCSC
The honors keep rolling in for our 2012 National Coach of the Year as Coach Snyder was recently named the 2013 Burns and McDonnell Coach of the Year by the Kansas City Sports Commission. Each year the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation honors the area's outstanding individuals for their commitment and achievement in sports, and I look forward to attending the awards presentation on April 19. Coach Snyder and the football team begin spring practice April 3 and the 2013 Purple/White spring game will be held April 27. And the August 30 season opener against North Dakota State will be right around the corner! Click here for season ticket information. Sales have been terrific which include new first-day record purchases and over 700 new season ticket holders!
West Stadium Center Construction on Track
The construction of the new West Stadium Center continues at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, and if you have driven past the complex lately you will notice drastic changes each day! The project remains on track for our August 30 season opener, and we are excited to showcase this new facility to the nation on FOX Sports 1. Click here for the latest photos of the project as the steel installation process comes to a close, which includes the ceremonial lifting of the building's highest piece of steel!
Spring Sports Update
It's a busy time at K-State with many of our teams in action. Coach Hill and the baseball team are coming off a series win over new Big 12 member West Virginia and a midweek series against Minnesota. The Diamond Cats head into tonight's game with the Gophers at 12-8 overall.
Our eighth-ranked equestrian team closed out the regular season with two big wins at home, including last week's senior day victory over No. 3 Oklahoma State. The squad will next head to Stillwater, Oklahoma, March 29-30 for the Big 12 Championships.
Coach Bietau and the No. 42 ranked tennis team are coming off two road wins in California as victories against Cal Poly and No. 65 Fresno State evened the squad's spring record at 6-6. Next action for the netters is March 30 at KU.
Following a successful indoor season, both track and field squads will now turn their attention to the outdoor season. The men's squad heads into this weekend's ASU Invitational with a No. 23 national ranking, while the women's team will ride the momentum of taking first in four events in last week's meet in Tucson.
It was exciting last month to break ground on the new Intercollegiate Rowing Center as Coach Sweeney and the rest of the squad prepare for spring competition. Following a terrific debut race in Oklahoma last week, the squad traveled to Texas last week to train during Spring Break and also prepare for this weekend's Longhorn Invitational.
Finally, our golf teams are in the midst of a busy spring with the men's team currently in Arizona for a tournament that runs through Saturday. The women are coming off a fourth-place finish in Arizona and will head to South Carolina next week. Next month, we will host the 2013 Big 12 Men's Golf Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, so for those in the Wichita/Hutchinson area remember to come out and cheer on the Cats!
That will do it for today. We hope to see you in Bramlage Thursday night and again Friday in Kansas City!