Wildcats, Bears Battle in Big 12 Semis

Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Semifinals #2

9/9 Kansas State (25-6, 11-5 Big 12)
vs. 21/20 Baylor (25-6, 11-5 Big 12)

Friday, March 12
Tipoff: 8:30 p.m. CT
Location: Kansas City, Mo.  |  Sprint Center (18,897)

Television: Big 12 Network/ESPN Full Court (Brent Musburger, play-by-play; Bob Knight, analyst; Holly Rowe, sideline reporter; Aaron Stojkov, producer)  |  ChannelDirectory: KMCI (Kansas City), KSNT (Topeka), KSAS (Wichita)  |  Internet: www.ESPN360.com

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst)  |  Live Stats: www.Big12Sports.com

Local Stations: Sports Radio 1350 AM (KMAN; Manhattan), 101.5-FM (KMKF; Manhattan)  |  Satellite Radio: Sirius 125/XM 231

Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International '93) is 68-30 (.691) in his third season at K-State.  Baylor - Scott Drew (Butler '93) is 106-101 (.512) in his seventh season at Baylor and 126-112 (.529) in his eighth season overall.   

Big Eight/12 Championship History: 28-31 (8-13 in Big 12 era)  |  In Kansas City: 27-26 (7-8 in Big 12 era)  |  In Sprint Center:  1-1  |  As a No. 2 seed: 9-3 (1-0 in Big 12 era)  |  vs. No. 3 seed: 3-4 (0-1 in Big 12 era)  |  vs. Baylor: 11-10 (1-1 neutral; 1-0 at Championship)  |  Last time:  No. 11/13 K-State knocked off No. 24/rv Baylor, 76-74, on Jan. 26, 2010 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Rankings: K-State is ranked No. 9 in AP Top 25 and No. 9 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25, while Baylor is ranked No. 21 in the AP and No. 20 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25.

Tickets: Sold out.

K-State Plays Baylor In Phillips 66 Big 12 Semifinals on Friday night
Kansas State (25-6, 11-5 Big 12) continues play at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Friday night, as the Wildcats play No. 21/20 Baylor (25-6, 11-5 Big 12) in the second semifinal contest at the Sprint Center at 8:30 p.m.  The squad tied the school-record with their 25th win of the season and earned their first win at the Big 12 Championship since 2008 on Thursday with an 83-64 victory over No. 7 seed Oklahoma State.  The 25 wins ties the mark of the 1950-51 NCAA Championship runner-up squad and the 1987-88 team for the most in school history.  It was the largest margin of victory in the Big 12 Championship game and the biggest since knocking off No. 7 seed Oklahoma, 75-56, in the first round of the 1981 Big Eight Tournament.  The Wildcats built a 25-point lead at halftime behind 53.1 percent shooting in the first half en route to its largest win over the Cowboys since 1987.  Sophomore Jamar Samuels paced four players in double figures with a career-high 27 points - including tying his career-best with 21 in the first half - to go with a game-tying 10 rebounds, while junior Jacob Pullen posted 19 points to go with a career first double-double (12 points, 10 assists) from senior Denis Clemente.

At Big 8/12 Championship
Kansas State is now 28-31 all-time at the Big Eight/12 Championship dating back to the 1977.  The squad is now 27-26 all-time in games played in Kansas City, including 1-1 at the Sprint Center.  This marks just the third time in the Big 12 era that the Wildcats have advanced to the semifinals with the last time coming against Kansas in the 2008 event in Oklahoma City.  Overall, this is the third time that K-State has appeared in the semifinals of the conference tournament, losing both times to archrival Kansas, first, 69-58, in 1999 and 67-61, in 2007.  The team hasn't made the conference finals since 1993.

Previewing Baylor
This will be the 22nd all-time meeting between Kansas State and Baylor on the hardwood, including the 15th in the Big 12 era, with the Wildcats holding a slight 11-10 edge.  The squad won five of the first six meetings in the series, however, the Bears have responded by winning nine of the 15 played in the Big 12 era.  This will be just the third on a neutral court between the teams. 

The two schools have met twice before in Kansas City in the postseason with Baylor posting a 60-52 win the NCAA Regional on March 20, 1948 at Municipal Auditorium to earn its first and only spot in the Final Four, while the K-State tallied a 74-73 win in overtime in the first round of the 2002 Championship at Kemper Arena.   It remains the lone overtime game in the team's Big 12 Championship history.

Last Time Out Against Baylor
In the first-ever meeting of ranked teams in Ferrell Center history, K-State handed Baylor its only home loss of the season on Jan. 26, as the Wildcats got a pair of free throws from junior Jacob Pullen with eight seconds left to earn a 76-74 victory.  The squad shot 50 percent for the contest, including 53.1 percent in the first half, while holding the Bears to just 40 percent shooting, including 20 percent from beyond the arc, to go with a 39-36 edge on the glass.  Pullen led all players with 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 6-of-7 effort from 3-point range, while backcourt mate Denis Clemente added 17 points and three more treys.  Senior Tweety Carter paced three Bears in double figures with 23 points on 8-of-17 field goals and Anthony Jones added 12 points and nine boards, while junior Ekpe Udoh had eight points and game-high 14 rebounds.    

Postgame Notes vs. Oklahoma State
--Kansas State earned its first win at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship since 2007 with its 83-64 victory over Oklahoma State... It marked the first tournament win since a 66-45 win over No. 5 seed Texas Tech in the quarterfinals at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City... It was the largest margin of victory in a tournament game in the Big 12 era and the most since a 75-56 win over No. 7 seed Oklahoma in the first round of the 1981 Big Eight Championship... The Wildcats improved to 9-3 as a No. 2 seed and to 7-2 against No. 7 seeds... The team is now 2-4 all-time against Oklahoma State at the tournament... It was the largest margin of victory over the Cowboys since an 81-60 win at home on Feb. 17, 1987.

--The victory also gave the Wildcats 25 wins, tying the school-record for wins with the 1950-51 NCAA Championship runner-up team and the 1987-88 squad... The team has posted 20 or more wins for the fourth consecutive season, which is a first for the school.

--The Wildcats posted their 18th 80-point game of the season... The team shot 47.5 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range... They shot 53.1 percent in the first half, including 45.5 percent from beyond the arc... It marked the seventh time this season that the squad has shot 50 percent or better in the first half... Four Wildcats scored in double figures led by Jamar Samuels' 27 points... It marked the 23rd time that the team has had four or more players in double figures.

--The 51 points in the first half were the most scored in a first half this season and the most in any half since tallying 55 in the second half against Loyola Chicago (11/13/09)... It was the most points in a first half since scoring 58 against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, 2008.

--K-State posted a 43-27 advantage in rebounding, including an impressive 25-8 edge at halftime... It marked the 21st time that the squad has out-rebounded an opponent, posting a 19-2 record... The +16 rebounding margin was the largest since posting a +17 edge against Colorado on Jan. 16.

--K-State scored 23 points off of 15 Oklahoma State turnovers, marking the 16th time that the squad has scored 20 or more points off of opponent turnovers... The team is 16-0 in such games.

--K-State broke the school record for blocked shots in a single season with three against Oklahoma State... The 149 blocks break the mark of 146 set during the 1998-99 season. 

--Sophomore Jamar Samuels tied the K-State mark for points in a conference tournament game with a career-best 27 points on 7-of-9 field goals... It is the highest by a Wildcat in a Big 12 Championship contest, while it marks the sixth time that a player has posted 27 points in a conference tournament game... The last player to do it was Steve Henson vs. Oklahoma State on March 9, 1990... It marked Samuels' fourth 20-point game of the season, while 10 rebounds gave him his fourth double-double... Also set career-highs for 3-point field goals (2), free throws (11) and free throws attempted (14)... He tied his scoring mark with 21 points at halftime... He had more rebounds at the half than OSU (eight).

--Junior Jacob Pullen posted 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range... It marked 31st consecutive game that he has scored in double figures, which is the second-longest streak in school history behind Mitch Richmond (50)... He has now connected on five or more treys in five games this season... He has scored in double figures in 70 career games, which is tied for the seventh-best in school history with Bob Boozer.

--Senior Denis Clemente earned his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-tying 10 assists... He also had 10 assists against Illinois State (3/18/09)... He has scored in double figures in 68 career games, including 13 consecutive games.

--Junior Curtis Kelly tallied double-digits rebounds for the fifth time this season with a team-tying 10 rebounds... He also tied the school's single-season mark for blocked shots with three... He is now tied with Gerald Eaker, who also had 59 during the 1995-96 season.

General Team Notes
--Kansas State has now scored 2,480 points this season, which is the fourth-most in a single-season... The team needs 20 points to top 2,500 points for the third consecutive season... The 80.0 point scoring average is the second-highest average in school history since the 1952-53 squad averaged 81.4 points.

--K-State has already set single-season highs for free throws (642), free throws attempted (963) and blocked shots (149)... The team has the eighth-highest single season total for steals (227), marking the third straight season that the Wildcats have posted at least 200 steals in a single season.

--With 206 3-point field goals, the squad has now posted 200 or more treys for the fifth time in school history, including the third consecutive season.

--Junior Jacob Pullen became the second player in school history and the first since Steve Henson to tally at least 1,000 points 200 3-pointers, 300 assists and 100 steals in a career... With five treys against Oklahoma State, he became the third player in school history with 200 or more 3-pointers.

--Pullen has now scored 1,376 points in 98 career games, which ranks seventh on the school's all-time scoring chart... He also now has 585 points this season, which ties for the ninth-highest for single year.