'Cats, Rebels Clash in Puerto Rico Tipoff

Game Information

Kansas State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Ole Miss (3-0)

Second Semifinal -- O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tipoff

Date: Friday, November 20, 2009
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. CT [9:30 p.m. Atlantic Time in Puerto Rico]
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico  |  Arena: Coliseo de Puerto Rico (18,000)

Television: ESPNU (Jon Sciambi, play-by-play; Hubert Davis, analyst; Doug Tutt/Tom Domercom, producer). 
Channel Directory: n/a.  Internet: www.ESPN360.com

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Ben Boyle, play-by-play; Mike Clark, analyst).  Live Stats: www.PuertoRicoTipoff.com.  Local Stations: Sports Radio 1350 AM (KMAN; Manhattan), 102.9-FM (KQTP; Topeka).  Satellite Radio: n/a

Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International '93) is 46-24 (.657) in his third season.  Ole Miss - Andy Kennedy (UAB  '91) is 85-52 (.620) in his fifth season as a head coach, including 64-39 (.621) in his fourth season at Ole Miss.
Last Time Out: K-State defeated Boston University, 80-70, in the quarterfinals on Friday, while Ole Miss beat Indiana, 89-71.

Series: Ole Miss leads 2-0.  Last time: Ole Miss won 67-65 on Nov. 24, 2001.  vs. SEC: K-State is 18-19 vs. the SEC.
Frank Martin is 0-0 all-time vs. Ole Miss, while Andy Kennedy is 0-0 all-time vs. K-State.

Rankings: Both teams are receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.

Tickets: $18 (Single-session tickets), $99 (All-Tournament tickets) at Coliseo de Puerto Rico Box Office or via www.Ticketpop.com.

K-State meets Ole Miss at the Puerto Rico Tipoff
Kansas State will face its stiffest test of the young season on Friday night, as the Wildcats play Ole Miss (3-0) in the semifinals of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tipoff at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico at 7:30 p.m. CT.  The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with Jon Sciambi and Hubert Davis on the call.  Like the Wildcats, the high-flying Rebels are averaging over 80 points per contest thus far and are receiving votes in both major polls.  The winner of tonight's game will face off against either No. 5 Villanova (2-0) or No. 18 Dayton (2-0) in the championship game on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2.  The losers of each semifinal contest will meet in the third-place game on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.  In addition to these semifinal games, there are two consolation contests today between No. 21 Georgia Tech (1-1) and George Mason (0-1) and Indiana (2-1) and Boston University (0-3) at 2 and 5 p.m. respectively. 

Although, Kansas State and Ole Miss haven't played each other in nearly eight seasons, the schools have a familiar connection with their respective head coaches.  K-State head coach Frank Martin and Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy spent time together on the coaching staff at Cincinnati from 2004-05.  Both were assistants under Bob Huggins in 2004-05, helping the Bearcats to the NCAA Tournament, while Martin served as Kennedy's top assistant in 2005-06 when he served as interim head coach after the departure of Huggins.  The two men led Cincinnati to 21 wins and No. 1 seed in the Postseason NIT in that tumultuous season before both went on to their current schools in 2006-07. 

Ole Miss is 2-0 all-time against Kansas State, winning a home-and-home series in 2000-01 and 2001-02.  The Rebels won 60-46 at home on Dec. 5, 2000 before winning 67-65 in Manhattan, Kan., on Nov. 24, 2001.  This is the Wildcats' first meeting with a SEC school since losing to Kentucky, 72-70, in the quartefinals of the Las Vegas Invitational last season.  K-State will be looking for its first win over an SEC team since beating Auburn, 78-75, at the Capital City Classic in Tallahassee, Fla., on Dec. 30, 1994, a span of three consecutive losses.

K-State opened the third annual Puerto Rico Tipoff with an 80-70 victory over Boston University in the quarterfinals on Thursday night.  The Wildcats took control of a back and forth game with a 10-1 run to end the first half then held as much as a 13-point lead in the second half.   Freshman guard Rodney McGruder paced five players n double figures with a season-high 20 points on 5-of-6 shooting.  He has scored in double figures in all three games this season, while is hitting on 75 percent from 3-point range.  Senior Jacob Pullen collected 14 points to go with five assists and three rebounds, while big men Curtis Kelly (12 points and nine rebounds) and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (10 points and eight rebounds) each nearly had double-doubles.

Tournament Play
Kansas State is playing in its 73rd in-season tournament in school history dating back to 1935.  The Wildcats played in at least one in-season tournament for 36 straight seasons from 1943-78, including the annual Big Six/Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.  This will be the team's sixth tournament outside the continental United States and the first since playing in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands in 2002.  The school's other tournaments outside the continental U.S. include the Silver Sword Tournament in Maui, Hawai'i (1985), the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska (1989), the Hawai'i Nike Festival in Honolulu (1993) and the Maui Invitational (1998).  K-State has a 107-71 (.601) all-time record in its 72 previous in-season tournaments.  The Wildcats have won 13 in-season tournament titles, including seven Big Six/Seven/Eight Holiday Tournaments, the Sun Met Classic (1987), BMA Holiday Classic (1990), Hawai'i Nike Festival (1993), Capital City Classic (1994), Otis Spunkmeyer Classic (1995) and the Las Vegas Holiday Classic (2006).