RPI: 45. Strength of Schedule: 55. 3-4 vs. RPI top 25, 3-3 vs. RPI 26-50. 15 of 21 wins vs. RPI 100+.
Season Review: 22-10/10-8 Big XII. Advanced after a The Wildcats have lost five times (7-5) since Jan. 28, but all to teams that made the tournament. Kansas State's strongest regular season statements were wins at Baylor (57-56, Feb. 18) and a home-and-home sweep of Missouri, who was highly thought of all year before getting upset by Norfolk State in its tourney opener.
Common Opponents w/Syracuse: Beat George Washington (69-56) at home Dec. 1. Won at Virginia Tech (69-61) Dec. 4. Lost to West Virginia (85-80, 2 OT) in Wichita Dec. 8. Syracuse beat all three of those teams.
Key Players: 6-4 JR G Rodney McGruder played at Archbishop Carroll and with the D.C. Assault alongside SU's Kris Joseph. His 30 points Thursday led the Wildcats to a win and doubled his season scoring average.
Jim Boeheim on McGruder: "He's a tremendous player. Those kind of guys are
always difficult to play against."
6-11/250 JR F Jordan Henriquez flirted with a triple-double in game one (15 pts, 9 reb, 6 blk).
Coach: Frank Martin, once a police officer and high school coach in Miami, cut his coaching teeth as an assistant to Bob Huggins and took over the K-State head job when Huggins left for West Virginia four years ago.
NCAA History: 33-29 including Thursday's 70-64 win of Southern Miss. Four Final Fours, but the last was in 1964. Four Sweet 16s, including 2010 when the Orange were also in Salt Lake City.