GAME PREVIEW // 15/13 K-State to Face 25/25 Florida Atlantic in East Regional Final Saturday


15/13 [3-seed] KANSAS STATE (26-9, 11-7 Big 12) vs. 25/25 [9-seed] FLORIDA ATLANTIC (34-3, 18-2 C-USA)

NCAA East Regional Finals

Saturday, March 25, 2023 >> 5:09 p.m. CT >> Madison Square Garden (19,812) >> New York, N.Y.


TBS / March Madness App (link here)

  • Brian Anderson (play-by-play)
  • Jim Jackson (analyst)
  • Allie LaForce (sideline reporter)
  • Tom Heitz (producer)


Westwood One [link here]

Satellite Radio: Sirius XM Ch. 133 or 201

  • Gary Cohen (play-by-play)
  • Jon Crispin (analyst)


K-State Sports Network

Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580

Online: Varsity Network [free] / [free]

  • Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
  • Stan Weber (analyst)


March Madness



K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ‘07]

Record at K-State: 26-9/1st Year

Career Record: 28-9/1st Year+

  1. Florida Atlantic: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]

Florida Atlantic: Dusty May [Indiana ‘00]

Record at Florida Atlantic: 100-59/5th Year

Career Record: 100-59/5th Year

  1. K-State: 0-0 [0-0 at Florida Atlantic]


NCAA Tournament [appearance/last]: 40-35 [32nd/2019]

East Regional [appearance/last]: 6-4 [5th/2012]

Regional Finals [East Regional]: 3-10 [0-1]

In New York, N.Y./Madison Square Garden: 1-0/1-0

As No. 3 seed [appearance]: 3-0 [1st]

  1. No. 9 seed [appearance]: 2-0 [3rd]



Overall: First meeting

In NCAA Tournament: First meeting

In New York City: First meeting

Last Meeting: n/a

Active Streak: n/a

Tang vs. Florida Atlantic: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]

Tang vs. Dusty May: 0-0 [0-0 at neutral site]

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)

15/13 Kansas State (26-9, 11-7 Big 12)

G: #1 Markquis Nowell

G: #5 Cam Carter

G: #13 Desi Sills

F: #11 Keyontae Johnson

F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin

25/25 Florida Atlantic (21-12, 11-8 Big Ten)

G: #1 Johnell Davis

G: #2 Nick Boyd

G: #4 Bryan Greenlee

G: #15 Alijah Martin

F: #50 Vladislav Goldin



No. 15/13 K-State (26-9, 11-7 Big 12) will appear in its 13th Elite Eight and the first since 2018 when the 3-seed Wildcats meet 9-seed Florida Atlantic (34-3, 18-2 C-USA) in the finals of the East Regional at 5:09 p.m., CT on Saturday at the World’s Most Famous Arena – Madison Square Garden – in New York City. The game will air on TBS with Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Jim Jackson (analyst) and Allie LaForce (reporter) on the call. The winner will advance to the Final Four at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Saturday, April 1. The Wildcats are looking to advance to the Final Four for the fifth time (1948, 1951, 1958, 1964) and the first time in nearly 6 decades, while the Owls are looking to go for the first time in program history.


  • K-State has earned its way to Elite Eight with impressive wins over 14-seed Montana State (77-65), 6-seed Kentucky (75-69) and 7-seed Michigan State (98-93) in the first 3 rounds of the East Regional. The Wildcats are averaging 83.3 points in the NCAA Tournament on 54.2 percent (96-of-177) with 6 players averaging 8 points or more, including 3 in double figures (Markquis Nowell, Keyontae Johnson and Nae’Qwan Tomlin).
  • Nowell sealed one of the greatest NCAA Tournament performances in school history with a steal of Tyson Walker with 3 seconds left in overtime, as the Wildcats held on to beat the Spartans, 98-93, on Thursday. Nowell’s layup at the buzzer gave him 20 points for the night to go with an NCAA Tournament-record 19 assists and 5 steals. His 19 assists eclipsed the previous mark of 18 set by UNLV’s Mark Wade at the 1987 Final Four. He is one of 5 players with 15 points and 15 assists in an NCAA Tournament game since assists became official in 1984, joining Keith Smart (1987), Sam Crawford (1993), Earl Watson (2000) and Ja Morant (2019). It was his 17th career double-double, including his 12th at K-State and his ninth this season.
  • Nowell is averaging 21.3 points and 14.0 assists per game through the first 3 games of the NCAA Tournament, while hitting on 47.7 percent shooting, including 40 percent from 3-point range, and 93.3 percent from the free throw line. He is one of 2 players since 1990, along with Ja Morant, to combine for 40 points and 20 assists before the Sweet 16. He ranks among the top-20 nationally in 7 categories, including second in assists/game (8.1 apg.) and third in total assists (285), while he ranks first in the Big 12 in an astounding 8 categories.
  • National Coach of the Year finalist Jerome Tang is the sixth head coach since 1985 to reach the Elite Eight in his first season as a Division I head coach, while the third-most wins in school history and the most since totaling 27 in 2012-13. His 26 wins are the second-most by a first-time Division I coach this season, trailing just Duke’s Jon Scheyer (27-9).
  • Johnson is the comeback story of the year in sports after arriving at K-State in August having not played basketball in nearly 2 seasons since his medical emergency while playing at Florida on Dec. 12, 2020. He has led the Wildcats in scoring (17.7 ppg.) and rebounding (6.9 rpg.) while scoring in double figures in 34 of 35 games with 10 20-point games and 6 double-doubles.


  • No. 25/25 Florida Atlantic (34-3, 18-2 C-USA) enters the matchup on Saturday with 10 straight victories, including wins over 8-seed Memphis (66-65), 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson (78-70) and 4-seed Tennessee (62-55) to open NCAA Tournament play. The stretch includes winning 3 games (Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee and UAB) to win the C-USA Tournament Championship.
  • Florida Atlantic is making its second trip to the NCAA Tournament, while making its first visit to the NCAA Elite Eight.
  • Florida Atlantic is averaging 78 points on 46.6 percent shooting, including 36.5 percent from 3-point range, with 38.9 rebounds, 14.6 assists, 6.5 steals and 2.5 blocks per game, while allowing 64.8 points on 40 percent shooting, including 31.4 percent from 3-point range. The Owls are connecting on 71.5 percent from the free throw line.
  • Florida Atlantic ranks among the top-25 nationally in 9 categories, including second in bench points (33.65), seventh in scoring margin (+13.1), ninth in defensive rebounds (28.1), 17th in field goal percentage defense (40.0) and 25th in effective field goal percentage (54.7).
  • Three players are averaging in double figures led by All-Conference USA First Team selections Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin, who are averaging 13.9 and 13.0 points per game. Davis is connecting on a 49.6 percent shooting, including 37.8 percent from 3-point range, while is hitting on 85.4 percent from the free throw line. Martin leads seven players in double figure 3-point field goals with 67, while hitting on 36.8 percent from beyond the arc. Vladislav Goldin is averaging 10.2 points on a team-best 63 percent shooting with a team-best 6.4 rebounds per game… Two other players (Nick Boyd and Michael Forrest) are averaging better than 8.5 points.
  • Florida Atlantic is led by fifth-year head coach Dusty May, who has guided the Owls to a 100-59 record. He led FAU to four seasons of at least 17 wins, including this season’s record-breaking 34-3 campaign.


  • This is the first meeting between K-State and Florida Atlantic


Date                    Rank     Result   Score     Location

First meeting


  • No. 15/13 K-State (26-9) will be making its 13th appearance in the Elite Eight and the first since 2018 when the 3-seed Wildcats face 9-seed Florida Atlantic (34-3, 18-2 C-USA) at 5:09 p.m., CT on Saturday in the East Regional Semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • K-State rated as the No. 11 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, including the third among the four No. 3 seeds (behind Baylor and Gonzaga). The No. 3 seed is the second highest by a Wildcat team since seeding began in 1979 and the highest since the 2010 team was selected as a No. 2 seed.
  • K-State is making its 39th postseason appearance, which includes 32 in the NCAA Tournament and 7 in the Postseason NIT. The program has now advanced to the postseason 12 times in the last 17 seasons (10 trips to NCAA Tournament and two to the NIT). The 32 overall bids rank 22nd nationally, including fourth among Big 12 schools (Kansas [51], Texas [37] and Oklahoma [33]).
  • The program has posted a 40-35 record in NCAA Tournament play, including 3-10 in the regional finals. The school is making its fifth appearance (1975, 1989, 1996, 2012) in the East Regional and is 6-4 all-time in the region. This will be the second meeting in the East Regional Finals and the first since losing to Syracuse, 95-87 in overtime, on March 22, 1975, at the Providence Civic Center.
  • In K-State’s NCAA Tournament history, the Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 a total of 18 times. The program has also reached the Elite Eight 13 times, made 4 Final Four appearances and played in one National Championship.
  • Tang is the 10th head coach to lead K-State to the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1948. Tang was part of 10 NCAA Tournament appearances during his stint as an assistant and associate head coach at Baylor, which included 5 trips to the Sweet 16 (2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2021), 3 in the Elite Eight (2010, 2012, 2021) and a Final Four and national championship in 2021.
  • Prior to start of this year’s tournament, Jerrell Colbert, Abayomi Iyiola, Keyontae Johnson, David N’Guessan and Desi Sills had been a part of teams that have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in their careers. Johnson (Florida), N’Guessan (Virginia Tech) and Sills (Arkansas) all played in NCAA Tournament games, including Johnson in 2019, N’Guessan and Sills in 2021 and N’Guessan in 2022. Sills was part of an Arkansas team that advanced to the Elite Eight in 2021.


  • K-State is 2-5 all-time in the World’s Most Famous Arena – Madison Square Garden – as the Wildcats are making their fifth visit (1976, 1994, 2007, 2012, 2023).
  • Before the matchup with Michigan State, K-State’s last visit to MSG came in 2012 when the Wildcats split 2 games in the NIT Season Tipoff, defeating Delaware, 66-63, on Nov. 21, 2012, before losing the championship game to No. 4 Michigan, 71-57, on Nov. 23, 2012.
  • Prior to the win over Michigan State, K-State was 0-3 in the postseason at MSG, losing in the NIT to Kentucky, 81-78, on March 16, 1976, and to Vanderbilt, 82-76, and Siena, 92-79, in the 1994 NIT Final Four.


Date                    Rank     Result   Score     Opponent          Event

3/16/1976          —/—     L             78-81    Kentucky             NIT

3/28/1994          —/—     L             76-82    Vanderbilt          NIT

3/30/1994          —/—     L             79-92    Siena                   NIT

12/4/2007          —/—     L             59-68    Notre Dame       Jimmy V Classic

11/21/2012        —/—     W          66-63    Delaware            NIT Season Tipoff

11/23/2012        —/4       L             57-71    Michigan            NIT Season Tipoff

3/23/2023          15/—    W          98-93* Michigan State  NCAA Sweet 16