K-State, 2/2 Syracuse Battle For Spot in Sweet 16

Junior Jordan Henriquez has double-figure scoring in four of the last five games.

March 16, 2012

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Game 33
rv/rv Kansas State (22-10, 10-8 Big 12) vs. 2/2 Syracuse (32-2, 17-1 BIG EAST)
Saturday, March 17, 2012 – East Regional Third Round – 12:15 pm ET/11:15 am CT – CBS Sports
CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Saturday's Game
• No. 8 seed K-State will be playing for a spot in the Sweet 16 on Thursday, as the Wildcats battle top-seed and No. 2/2 Syracuse (32-2, 17-1 BIG EAST) in the East Regional Third Round on Saturday, March 17 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.  The game will tip at 12:15 pm ET/11:15 am CT on CBS Sports (as well as NCAA.com) with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Len Elmore (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Marty Snider (sideline) on the broadcast.  It will also be carried live on Westwood One Radio with Scott Graham (play-by-play) and Kevin Grevey (analyst) on the call.  Westwood One can be heard on Sirius 92/XM 191.

• Saturday’s game will mark just the third meeting between K-State and Syracuse and the first time since the Orange defeated the Wildcats, 95-87, in overtime in the 1975 East Regional Final (March 22) in Providence, R.I. … The series is tied 1-all, as K-State earned an 88-68 win at home on Dec. 13, 1968.  The school is 18-26 all-time against the BIG EAST, including 7-12 at neutral sites…  It marks the 12th time in school history that the Wildcats have faced a BIG EAST opponent in the NCAA Tournament, the most of any one conference… K-State is 4-8 vs. the BIG EAST in these tournament games with the last game (and win) coming vs. DePaul (66-58) in 1988.

• In the only meeting in the NCAA Tournament, Syracuse earned a 95-87 in overtime over K-State in the 1975 East Regional Final in Providence, R.I. … Future NBA players Chuckie Williams (35) and Mike Evans (20) combined for 55 of the Wildcats’ 87 points… The 35-point output by Williams was the most in an NCAA Tournament game for K-State until Jacob Pullen surpassed it last season with 38 vs. Wisconsin (3/19/2011)… The Orange were led by the duo of Rudy Hackett (28) and Jim Lee (25), who combined for 53 points in the victory… The Wildcats led 38-36 at the half before the Orange rallied to tie it in regulation at 76-all.

• K-State will be playing a Top 25 opponent for the ninth time this season, including a Top 10 foe for sixth time… The Wildcats are 4-4 against the Top 25 this season, including 3-2 against the Top 10… The Top 10 wins have come twice against Missouri and once vs. Baylor… Overall, the squad is 20-22 against the Top 25 under head coach Frank Martin, including 8-12 vs. the Top 10… The school is 5-12 all-time vs. the AP’s No. 2 team, including a two-game skid… The last win vs. No. 2 came on Jan. 30, 2008 when the Wildcats defeated No. 2 Kansas at home, 84-75… Two of the five wins vs. the No. 2 team have come in the NCAA Tournament with K-State beating No. 2 Cincinnati, 83-80, in double overtime on March 14, 1958 and No. 2 Oregon State, 50-48, on March 14, 1981… After the Oregon State win in 1981, Rolando Blackman became the first K-State player (and just the second overall) to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

• This will mark the fourth time that K-State has faced a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the first time since doing it in back-to-back years in 1987 (vs. No. 1 UNLV) and 1988 (vs. No. 1 Purdue)… The Wildcats are 2-1 vs. No. 1 seeds, knocking off No. 1 Oregon State, 50-48, on March 14, 1988 in the West Second Round in Los Angeles, Calif., and No. 1 Purdue, 73-70, in the Midwest Semifinals in Pontiac, Mich., on March 25, 1988… The loss came to No. 1 UNLV, 80-61, in the West Second Round in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 14, 1987.

Miscellaneous Notes:
• K-State has advanced past the opening game of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight time… The Wildcats won opening round games in 2008, 2010 and 2011… The team is now 33-29 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 6-3 in the second round… Head coach Frank Martin is now 6-3 in his career in the NCAA Tournament… His six wins are one shy of Tex Winter (7, 1954-68) for the second-most in school history and four shy of first-place Jack Hartman (11, 1970-86).

• K-State is now 1,510-1,066 (.586) all-time and 117-53 (.688) under head coach Frank Martin.

• The Wildcats’ starting lineup vs. Southern Miss consisted of freshman guard Angel Rodriguez, sophomore guard Will Spradling, junior guard Rodney McGruder, senior forward Jamar Samuels and junior forward Jordan Henriquez. This is the seventh time K-State has used this lineup this season… K-State is 4-3 in those games.

Team Notes
• K-State is now 19-4 this season when holding the opponent to fewer than 70 points… The Wildcats are 87-14 in those games during the Frank Martin era… The current 63.7 opponent scoring average is the lowest in the shot clock era at K-State and lowest since the 1983-84 team held foes to 61.8 points per game.

• K-State had 7 blocks in the game for the third-most in an NCAA Tournament game in school history… The Wildcats have at least 5 blocks in 18 games, including a season-best 11 vs. North Florida (12/11/11).

• The Wildcats dominated the paint with 32 points in the paint… It marked the 23rd time in 32 games that the squad has had at least 30 points in the paint… K-State has now out-scored their opponents, 1,002-794… K-State shot 26-of-34 (76.5 percent) from the free-throw line… The Wildcats were 19-of-24 in the second half alone… Jordan Henriquez set career-highs for both makes (9) and attempts (10)… The 26 makes are the sixth-most in an NCAA Tournament game, while the 34 attempts ranks seventh in an NCAA Tournament game… The team has now attempted at least 22 free throws in 22 games, while have 20 or more makes in 10 games… The Wildcats are now 10-0 this season when they make 20 or more free throws in a game.

• The Wildcats led 30-27 at halftime after a 7-2 run to reclaim the lead when Southern Miss went ahead 25-23 on a pair of free throws… K-State is now 19-4 when leading at the break this season and 101-15 all-time under Frank Martin when holding a halftime lead.

Individual Notes
• The senior class of Jamar Samuels and Victor Ojeleye became the winningest class in school history, earning their 96th win in school history… The duo topped three other seniors (Jacob Pullen, Chris Merriewether and Luis Colon), who were apart of 95 team victories… Samuels and Ojeleye are 96-41 in their careers.

• Samuels also played in his 133rd game at K-State on Thursday, which is two shy of Pullen’s all-time record (135).

• Rodney McGruder scored 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting and 6-of-8 at the free-throw line…  It is the 8th time a Wildcat has scored 30+ in the NCAA Tournament in school history… It was his 3rd 30-point game this season, scoring 30 vs. Baylor (1/10) and a career-best 33 vs. Texas (1/18)… K-State is 2-1 in those games… McGruder surpassed 1,000 career points in the game, he now has 1,014 points… He is the 24th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier and the second this season (Jamar Samuels vs. Virginia Tech)… He is the fourth player to accomplish the feat under Frank Martin, along with Denis Clemente, Jacob Pullen and Samuels.

• McGruder’s 11 field goals rank 10th in school history for a postseason game and his four steals rank seventh.

• McGruder has now scored in double figures in a team-leading 27 games… He has double figures in 22 of the last 24 games, including 21 of the last 22.

• Jordan Henriquez scored 15 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 9-of-10 from the free throw line… It marked the 10th time he has double figures this season, including fourth time in the last five games… He also pulled down 9 rebounds and posted 6 blocks… His 6 blocks are the most by a Wildcat in an NCAA Tournament game… His 9 free throws made also rank eighth for an NCAA Tournament game.

• In the last five games, Henriquez is averaging 15.2 points on a team-best 63.6 percent (28-of-44) shooting from the field with 9.6 rebounds and 4.2 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game.

• Angel Rodriguez scored 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting and 5-of-8 at the free-throw line… He also added 4 assists and 3 rebounds… It marked the 13th time this season that he has registered double figures, including the ninth time in the last 15 games… K-State is now 18-3 this season when has a positive or least even assist-to-turnover ratio (in comparison to 4-6 when it is negative)… In the last 16 games when he has started, the team is 10-2 when he has a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and 0-4 when it is negative.