K-State Finishes No. 24 in ESPN Coaches poll

All-American Jacob Pullen led the Wildcats to final No. 24 ranking in the Coaches' poll.

April 5, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State finished among the nation's elite for the second consecutive season, as the Wildcats placed 24th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Top 25 poll released on Tuesday.


Connecticut (30-9) earned 30 of 31 first-place votes and 773 total points to post the No. 1 ranking in the poll after winning the national championship on Monday night.  National runner-up Butler (27-9) was second with 704 points, followed by Kentucky (29-8), Kansas (35-3) and Ohio State (34-3), which released the lone remaining first-place vote.   The Wildcats and Jayhawks were two of three Big 12 teams to finish in the Top 25, along with No. 16 Texas (28-8).  Texas A&M and Missouri each were among those receiving votes.


The No. 24 ranking marks the second straight season that the Wildcats have finished in the Coaches' Top 25 poll, following the program's highest final ranking in 50 years a season ago at No. 7.   The team has not concluded ranked in the poll in back-to-back seasons since finishing No. 16 in 1971-72 and No. 7 in 1972-73.   


Overall, it marks the 20th time that the school has finished in the final Coaches' poll, which includes No. 3 in 1950-51, No. 6 in 1951-52, No. 9 in 1952-53, No. 20 in 1956-57, No. 4 in 1957-58, No. 1 in 1958-59, No. 16 in 1959-60, No. 4 in 1960-61, No. 5 in 1961-62, No. 19 in 1962-63, No. 12 in 1963-64, No. 14 in 1967-68, No. 16 in 1971-72, No. 7 in 1972-73, No. 11 in 1976-77, No. 20 in 1979-80, No. 18 in 1981-82 and No. 20 in 1987-88 and No. 7 in 2009-10.  The squad also finished No. 21 in the final Associated Press ranking, which was released on March 14 prior to the NCAA Tournament.   


K-State finished the 2010-11 season with its unprecedented fourth consecutive 20-win season and third trip to the NCAA Tournament in four seasons.  Led by All-American Jacob Pullen, the Wildcats posted a 23-11 overall record, including a tie with Texas A&M for third-place in the Big 12 with a 10-6 mark.  Before this season, the program had produced 20 or more wins in three consecutive seasons on two occasions (1974-77 and 1979-82).    

The 95 wins under Frank Martin are the most for a head coach in his first four seasons and the most-ever in a four-year span in school history.  The three NCAA Tournament appearances in a four-year span are the most since the squad went to four consecutive tournaments from 1986-90.