Kansas State Earns Third-Straight NCAA Regional Bid

Head Coach Brad Hill

May 30, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State was rewarded for a successful 2011 season, earning its third-straight NCAA Regional bid Monday as the Wildcats were slotted as the No. 3 seed at the Fullerton Regional, hosted by Cal State Fullerton, at Goodwin Field.

The Cats, 36-23 on the season, will take on No. 2 seed Stanford at 6 p.m., (CT) Friday. Every game from the Fullerton Regional will be televised on ESPNU.

"The wait was very tough," head coach Brad Hill said. "I didn't feel as good after Saturday's ballgame. You figure that if Missouri won (the Big 12 Championship), there was no way they were going to take seven teams out of the Big 12 and six might be a stretch. It was a long 48 hours, no question. Finding out today during the show was a big relief. We're obviously very excited. At the beginning of the year your expectation is that you're going to be there, but then we had to play our way just into the Big 12 tournament. We felt like we played our way back into contention during the tournament. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride beginning with the KU series as every game was a must-win from there on out."

Host Cal State Fullerton (40-15) is the No. 1 seed and will take on No. 4-seeded Illinois at 10 p.m. (CT). Cal State Fullerton is hosting its 10th regional, all coming since 2000.

Stanford (32-20) finished fifth in the Pac-10 race at 14-12 and represents the second-straight Pac-10 opponent Kansas State will face in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament after the Wildcats met Washington State in the 2010 Fayetteville Regional.

Illinois (28-25) won the Big Ten regular-season and postseason conference tournament for the first time since 2000.

Kansas State is 0-1 all-time against Stanford, while the Wildcats are 1-3 against Illinois. K-State has never played Cal State Fullerton.

With the regional bid, Kansas State became one of six schools nationally that had its football team reach a bowl game, and have both basketball programs and its baseball team all reach the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats were the only team from the state of Kansas to advance to NCAA play and one of six Big 12 teams. Other conference schools earning bids into postseason play were Texas (No. 1 seed; Austin Regional), Texas A&M (No. 1 seed; College Station Regional), Oklahoma (No. 2 seed; Fort Worth Regional), Baylor (No. 2 seed; Houston Regional) and Oklahoma State (No. 2 seed; Nashville Regional).

Individual tickets for the 2011 Fullerton Regional will be available for purchase online at www.fullertontitans.com at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 31. Individual tickets range from $10 to $20 per game.