MANHATTAN, Kansas – For the third time in the last four seasons, Kansas State women’s basketball was rewarded with an at-large bid into the 2019 NCAA Tournament during Monday night’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show on ESPN. This is the program’s 16th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the third under head coach Jeff Mittie.
K-State (21-11, 11-7 Big 12) was chosen as a No. 9 seed in the Albany, New York, regional and will be opposed by No. 8 seed Michigan (21-11, 11-7 Big Ten) on Friday, March 22 at 1 p.m., (CDT) in Louisville, Kentucky, at the KFC Yum! Center. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and on ESPN3.com. The contest will also be available on the K-State Sports Network and free live audio on kstatesports.com. Michigan leads the all-time series with K-State, 2-0, however the Wildcats won the last meeting on December 10, 1995, 66-63, but later forfeited the victory due to an NCAA infraction.
The winner of the Kansas State-Michigan game will play the winner of the No. 1 Louisville-No. 16 Robert Morris matchup on Sunday, March 24. The top four seeds in the Albany region are: No. 1 Louisville (29-3), No. 2 Connecticut (31-2), No. 3 Maryland (28-4) and No. 4 Oregon State (24-7).
Tickets for K-State’s first round matchup with Michigan will be available Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m., by calling the K-State Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS. All ticket orders will be distributed at the KFC Yum! Center will call.
K-State is 13-15 in its previous 15 NCAA Tournament bids. The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Manhattan, Kansas, as K-State entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed in the Lexington region. K-State defeated No. 10 seed Drake in the first round before falling to No. 2 seed Stanford in the second round.
Under Mittie’s guidance in his fifth season, Kansas State has registered the 25th 20-win season in program history. K-State recorded 11 Big 12 wins, the second time in three seasons the Wildcats have posted 11 wins in the league.
After being slated for an eighth-place finish by the Big 12 Conference coaches in the preseason poll, K-State carded a fourth-place finish in the conference standings.
On the floor this season, Kansas State features a diverse attack with six players scoring 100 or more points this season. Leading the way has been the All-Big 12 First Team duo of Kayla Goth and Peyton Williams.
During the 2018-19 season, Goth leads the Big 12 in assists (220) and assists per game (6.9). She ranks among the top-10 in the nation in both categories. For the season, Goth is responsible for 48.4 percent of K-State’s made field goals this season. She leads the Big 12 and is the top guard among Power 5 schools for percentage of a team’s field goals responsible for. She ranks fourth in career assists in program history with 500 or more assists.
In addition to pacing the team in assists, Goth is second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game (402 points). The preseason candidate for the 2019 Nancy Lieberman Award is the first player in program history to register consecutive seasons with 400 or more points and 200 or more assists.
The All-America candidate from DeForest, Wisconsin, leads all guards in the Big 12 for double-doubles with a career-high six this season. Earlier this season, Goth became the 41st player in program history to reach 1,000 or more points in a career. She is the fourth player in program history with 1,000 or more points, 500 or more assists and 300 or more rebounds.
Williams was the second player in program history to garner Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors, joining former teammate and three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection Breanna Lewis. Williams has recorded 36 blocks and a career-high 56 steals this season. She ranks among the top-15 in the Big 12 in blocks per game (1.2) and steals per game (1.8).
The All-America candidate from Topeka, Kansas, also leads K-State in rebounding with a career-high 299 (969 rpg). Williams leads all players in the Big 12 for rebound percentage at 26.7 percent. Her rebounding total this season ranks fourth in program history for a single season and are the most since Ohlde pulled in a junior season record 306 rebounds in the 2002-03 season.
Williams finished Big 12-play by averaging a double-double with 16.2 points and 10.0 rebounds. She is the first Wildcats to average a double-double in league play since Wecker in the 2004-05 season.
She has carded a career-high and Big 12 best 14 double-doubles this season. Her 14 double-doubles rank tied for third in school history for double-doubles in a single season.
Williams, a preseason candidate for the 2019 Katrina McClain Award, has increased her scoring average from last season to this season by 1.2 points per game and leads the Wildcats with 15.8 points per game (493 points), field goal percentage (.492) and free throw percentage (.851).
Michigan (21-11, 11-7 Big Ten) enters the NCAA Tournament with wins in nine of their last 11 games. This will be the eighth NCAA Tournament appearance for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines are led on the sidelines by seventh-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico. On the floor, Michigan is led by the trio of Naz Hillmon, Hallie Thome and Nicole Munger. Hillmon, a freshman forward, paces the squad with 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. Thome, a senior center, is second on the team in scoring with 12.1 points and rebounds with 5.9. Munger, a senior guard is averaging 10.2 points.