Kansas State is about to play one of the stingiest groups in the country.
The Wildcats tip off with Cincinnati at 6:27 p.m. on Friday in Sacramento on TruTV in what might go down as one of the biggest defensive battles in NCAA tournament history.
The matchup between K-State and the Bearcats could have the lowest combined score of the first round as both teams excel at
playing aggressive defense.
Cincinnati ranks a little better than the Wildcats in that regard, holding teams to 60.5 points per contest — ranked fourth in the country. K-State ranks 61st, holding teams to 67.6.
The Bearcats lost their first tournament game last season, after a late dunk was ruled to come after the buzzer. K-State might have the odds on its side, as at least one winner from the First Four has gone on to win a first round game since it started in 2011.
K-State coach Bruce Weber hasn’t shied away from that point, either, frequently talking about VCU’s run to the Final Four in 2011 as the motivator for the Wildcats.
The Bearcats’ leading scorer is Jacob Evans, who posts 13.7 points per game. The key addition to the roster this year was NC State transfer Kyle Washington. He’s the second-leading scorer for Cincinnati with 13.1 points per contest.