Illinois, Arkansas, and Cincinnati to join the Cats in Kansas City
The big news yesterday, sliding in not long after JT posted the Slate, is that Kansas State will be participating in the Hall of Fame Classic November 22 and 23 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City. Bruce Weber’s charges will be part of a field which will include the Cincinnati Bearcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, and… umm… the Illinois Fighting Illini.
That means that Weber might face the school that fired him, and K-State might face an old pal: Illinois coach Brad Underwood. That’s not the only narrative that can come into play; as we’ve noted on numerous occasions, K-State and Cincinnati used to be one of the greatest rivalries in college basketball for a time back in the day, and any time we get to face off against those folks who don’t know how to pronounce Arkansas properly is always a good time too.
Historically speaking, this is a ridiculous field as well. The four schools have made a total of 128 NCAA Tournament appearances. That’s an average of 32 each, and the wild thing about that is Cincinnati and Arkansas have made 33 trips while K-State and Illinois have made 31. K-State leads the Sweet Sixteen list with 17, while Cincinnati has 13, Arkansas 12, and Illinois 11. The Wildcats also have the edge in Elite Eight appearances with 13; Arkansas has 11, Illinois 9, and Cincinnati 8. Final Four trips? Six each for Arkansas and Cincinnati, five for the Illini, and four for the Cats. This comparison isn’t fun anymore.
What we’re getting at here is there’s a lot of history taking the floor at T-Mobile this fall. Even better, it’s going to be good for K-State’s resume in 2021-22… assuming they can pick up a win or two, of course.
Kellis Robinett at the Eagle has more on the story.
In news from a strange place, an AP story by Arnie Stapleton carried by the Findlay (Ohio) Courier discusses player reactions to the now-cancelled NFL Combine, including Briley Moore’s reaction to getting his invite and not being able to go after looking forward to the opportunity for years.
Adam Meyer at the Mercury has a story on K-State’s starting pitchers and their role in K-State’s so far moderately successful campaign.
Meanwhile, Austin Siegel introduces you to freshman revelation Nick Goodwin in today’s Sports Extra.
In yesterday’s Sports Extra, Siegel hooked up with Ohio State transfer Aliyah El-Naggar, who scored the tying goal in K-State’s 3-3 draw at Missouri a few weeks ago.
At 10:00 this morning in Waco, eighth-seeded K-State will take the court against the ninth seed, the Flaw on the Kaw, in the opening round of the Big 12 women’s tennis championships. The teams played twice this year, with Kansas winning in Lawrence back in March before the Cats got revenge three weeks ago in Manhattan. The winner’s reward? A Friday match against the number two team in the nation, top-seeded Texas. The Longhorns are 21-1, their only loss coming to top-ranked North Carolina.
Charles and Debbie Morrison have ponied up 10.2 million dollars to finance the Morrison Center for Student Well-being on K-State’s campus. The “well-being” referred to is mostly mental; the center will provide suicide prevention counseling, mental health services, and the like. The Morrisons also made a contribution of undisclosed value (but described as “generous”) to Cat’s Cupboard, the campus food pantry, as well as endowing a scholarship fund within K-State’s College of Business Administration.
The couple, who reside in Southlake, Texas, are both K-State alumni. Charlie, who graduated in 1990, is the CEO of Wingstop, and both are currently serving on the KSU Board of Trustees.