The NCAA men’s basketball tournament will be the second since March Madness’s expansion in 1985 to be without Kentucky, Duke, or North Carolina in the Sweet 16 after the Wildcats lost to Kansas State on Sunday, ESPN Stats and Info wrote in a Sunday tweet.
The feat also happened in 2021.
Kansas State earned a 75-69 victory against Kentucky in the round of 32 with the help of 27 points from senior guard Markquis Nowell. Four Kansas State starters scored in double-digits, including Nowell, senior forward Keyontae Johnson, junior forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin and senior guard Desi Sills. Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe and guard Cason Wallace combined for 46 points against Kansas State.
Kentucky Basketball was without guard Sahvir Wheeler, who said he practiced this week and was ready to play before Kentucky’s first-round March Madness matchup against the Providence Friars. According to Sports Illustrated, the former Georgia guard did not play in the Southeastern Conference tournament game after he suffered an ankle injury in practice before Kentucky’s loss against Arkansas on Feb. 7.
The Kansas State Wildcats earned a 3-seed in March Madness after jumping out to a 25-9 record and an 11-7 record vs. conference opponents. The Wildcats went 1-1 against a No. 1 seed in the Kansas Jayhawks, winning in a one-point overtime victory against Kansas before falling in a 12-point loss at the Dillons Sunflower Showdown in January.
Kansas State has made NCAA men’s basketball tournament appearances five times and spots in the Sweet 16 twice in the past decade. A team led by NBA now-Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dean Wade and Greensboro Swarm forward Xavier Sneed went 25-12 in the 2017-18 season before winning in the first round of March Madness against Creighton, according to Basketball Reference. Kansas State took home wins over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Kentucky before falling to Loyola Chicago in the South Regional Final.
Kansas State will face off against the winner of a game between the Michigan State Spartans and Marquette Golden Eagles.