K-State Plays Duke for CBE Classic Title Tuesday

Senior Jacob Pullen has led the Wildcats in scoring in each of its first four games.

Nov. 23, 2010

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4/4 Kansas State (4-0, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. 1/1 Duke (4-0, 0-0 ACC)
O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Championship

Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2010  |  Tipoff: 9 p.m. CT
Location: Kansas City, Mo.  |  Arena: Sprint Center (18,897)
Television: ESPN2 (Dave O’Brien, play-by-play; Dick Vitale, analyst; Eric Mosley, producer)  | 
Internet: ESPN3.com
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst)  | 
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 122/XM 143 
Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International ‘93) is 76-32 (.704) in his fourth season as a head coach and at the school.  Duke - Mike Krzyzewski (Army ‘69) is 869-279 (.757) in his 36th season as a head coach and 799-220 (.784) in his 31st season at the school.
Series: First meeting  |  Martin vs. Krzyzewski:  First meeting  |  K-State vs. ACC:  9-8  |  Last time vs. ACC:  W, 73-57, Virginia Tech, 11/16/10
Last Time Out:  K-State defeated Gonzaga, 81-64, in the second semifinal on Monday, while Duke knocked off Marquette, 82-77, in the first game.
Rankings: K-State is No. 4 in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls, while Duke ranks No. 1 in each of the respective polls.
Tickets: Sold out. 

K-State plays Duke in CBE Classic Championship
No. 3/3 Kansas State (4-0) will conclude play in the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play top-ranked Duke (4-0) in the Championship game at 9 p.m. CT on ESPN2.  The Blue Devils defeated Big East foe Marquette (4-1), 82-77, in the first semifinal game of the tournament before the Wildcats earned an 81-64 victory over No. 18/22 Gonzaga (2-2) in the night cap.  It marks the first time that the team will play for a regular-season tournament title since knocking off New Mexico, 72-56, in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 23, 2006, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  Overall, K-State has won five regular-season tournament titles (excluding the old Big Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament) in their history, including the 1959 Kansas Tournament (Lawrence, Kan.), 1990 BMA Holiday Classic (Kansas City, Mo.), 1994 Capital City Classic (Tallahassee, Fla.), 1995 Otis Spunkmeyer Classic (Oakland, Calif.) and 2006 Las Vegas Holiday Classic. 

This will mark the 17th time in school history that K-State has faced the country’s top-ranked team with the squad holding a 3-13 all-time record.  Last season, the Wildcats went 1-1 against the No. 1 team, knocking off Texas, 71-62, at home on Jan. 19 before losing to Kansas, 72-64, in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship game on March 13 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.  Despite the team’s dismal record vs. No. 1, the three all-time wins have come in the last eight meetings, all since 1990.  This will mark the first time that the school has faced the nation’s top-ranked squad during the non-conference season since losing to No. 1 Cincinnati, 75-61, at home on Dec. 14.  Overall, the Wildcats have faced the No. 1 team four times outside of Big Eight/12 play, including three times in NCAA Tournament play.  This will be the first meeting with a top-ranked non-Big Eight/12 team since losing to UCLA in the NCAA National Semifinals in Kansas City, Mo. on March 20, 1964.

This will mark the first time in school history that the Wildcats have faced three ranked opponents in their first five games, surpassing the two played in the first three games of the 1971-72 season.  K-State knocked off No. 22/24 Virginia Tech, 73-57, on Nov. 16 at home in just the fourth match-up of ranked foes in Bramlage Coliseum history before defeating No. 18/22 Gonzaga, 81-64, on Monday in the second semifinal game of the tournament.  It marks the second straight season that the team will play at least two ranked non-conference opponents, which previously had not happened since 2000-01.  Last season, the squad knocked off No. 18 Dayton, 83-75, in the third-place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Nov. 21, before a 95-80 win over No. 18 UNLV at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 12, in non-conference action.  Overall, the Wildcats are 12-12 against ranked opponents under head coach Frank Martin, including a school-record seven wins in 2009-10.    

The Wildcats moved to 4-0 on the season for the second time in three seasons on Monday with an impressive 81-64 victory over No. 18/22 Gonzaga on Monday night.  The team never trailed in the contest, while connecting on a season-high 50.9 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from 3-point range.  Once again, K-State got scoring from a variety of players led once again by senior All-American candidate Jacob Pullen’s game-high 18 points.  Pullen, who now ranks fourth in school history with 80 double-digit scoring efforts, has led the team in scoring in each of its first four games.  In all, 11 different players scored in the win over the Bulldogs, including double-digit efforts by Pullen, Will Spradling (13) and Rodney McGruder (10), while 10 grabbed at least one rebound led by McGruder’s game-high nine boards.         

The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the second edition of both The Associated Press and USA Today/ ESPN Coaches Top 25 polls after starting the season at No. 3 for their highest ever preseason rankings in both polls.  The No. 3 ranking was the highest in an AP poll in almost 50 years since the team ranked No. 3 on March 6, 1962.  K-State has been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 10 consecutive polls dating back to last season, including a No. 7 ranking prior to the NCAA Tournament.  Overall, the school has appeared in 17 consecutive AP polls dating back to Dec. 14, 2009.  The squad returns nine lettermen from a team that won a school-record 29 games and advanced to their first Elite Eight since 1988. 

This will be the 24th game involving Top 10 teams in school history, including the 10th involving squads ranked in the Top 5.  Overall, K-State is 224-80 (.736) as a ranked team all-time in The Associated Press poll (which dates to 1949-50), including 141-36 (.795) as a Top 10 squad and 89-22 (.800) as a Top 5 team.  The Wildcats have played 36 games previously as the nation’s No. 4 team in the country, boasting a 32-4 (.800) mark.  This will be just the second game as the No. 4 team since defeating Iowa State, 69-54, on February 26, 1962.

This will be just the first all-time meeting between K-State and Duke on the hardwood and the second this season against an ACC foe.  Earlier this season, the Wildcats defeated No. 22/24 Virginia Tech, 73-57, on Nov. 16 at home.  The school is 9-8 against ACC teams, including contests against Boston College (1-1), Clemson (1-1), Florida State (2-0), Maryland (1-0), North Carolina (1-4), N.C. State (2-2) and Virginia Tech (1-0). 
Postgame Notes vs. Gonzaga
• Today’s game was the 8th time the Wildcats have played in Sprint Center... K-State is now 6-2 (.750) in games played at the Sprint Center...
• Monday’s contest was the second ever between K-State and Gonzaga and the first since K-State won 66-64 at home in the 1994 Postseason NIT... K-State is now 7-3 against teams from the West Coast Conference.
• The Wildcats made 12 3-pointers for a new season-high... K-State was one shy of its previous high of 10 against James Madison in the season opener in just the first half draining 9 shots from deep in the opening stanza.
• K-State broke the 80-point mark for the first time this season... The Wildcats are now 48-2 under Frank Martin when scoring 80 or more points. 
•The team got scoring from a variety of different players with 11 players scoring at least two points... The squad out-scored Gonzaga, 35-20, in bench points, marking the third time this season that the Wildcats have scored 30 or more points off the bench.
• Jacob Pullen scored 18 points on the night to lead the Wildcats... he posted a season-high 4 3-pointers, which is the most by a Wildcat this year... He is now 83 points behind Steve Henson for fifth all-time in scoring at K-State.
• Freshman Will Spradling posted a career-high in points by halftime of tonight’s contest with 11 in the first 20 minutes of play... He finished the night with a career-high 13 points hitting 2-of-4 from long range.
• Senior Curtis Kelly saw his first action of the season coming off the bench early in the first half for K-State... He finished the night with 3 points and 4 rebounds.
• Sophomore Rodney McGruder just missed out on a double-double as the sophomore tallied 10 points and 9 rebounds.