Drake will enter this year's NCAA tournament riding a 22-game winning streak, the second-longest active winning streak in the country behind only CT, the tournament's top overall seed.
Traditionalists cringed, but ultimately, the First Four was an immediate success, as VCU emerged from Dayton to make a run to the Final Four.
The Wildcats (21-13) advance to the first round to face Cincinnati on Friday at 7:27 p.m. ET.
The key to Kansas State's success will come from Dean Wade.
Kansas State went 22-10 overall, but finished in fourth place in the Big 12 with an 11-7 record in a league, that admittedly may have been top heavy, and in turn might qualify a strong team like this as a darkhorse. No matter how good we play, no matter who we beat, we're still going to be the underdogs.
"They can create tempo, they can score in a lot of different ways and they've got some guys that in my day you would say they've got some motor scooters", Slessinger said of the Mountaineers, who also are one of the better blocking teams despite struggling on the boards.
The NBA scouts have been drooling over the 6-10 big man during the his explosion onto the scene this season. K-State is averaging 71.7 points per game on offense while allowing 66.9 on defense.More news: Barca made history with record fightback in Camp Nou
But Johnson only remembers the close games K-State won, such as two narrow victories over Baylor.
Manning said the Wildcats talent doesn't stop with their starting five. Still, they have one win against a team ranked better than 246th in the KenPom ratings, which was George Mason in overtime. It's disappointing. He's got as big a heart. All he cared about was landing a spot in the 68-team NCAA field.
Oddsmakers in Las Vegas now favor the Wildcats by one point. With a little over six minutes remaining in the first half, Kansas State point guard Kamau Stokes brought the ball up the floor and passed to teammate Xavier Sneed. The Bearcats are trying to not let history repeat itself, one year after losing in the first round when a dunk at the buzzer was ruled a bit too late. The only other Division I team to win three straight games while overcoming double-digit deficits this season is Kentucky. "It is your goal every year to be in the NCAA Tournament".
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The 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket is nearly set in stone but before the field is made into a tidy 64-team affair, the First Four must whittle eight March hopefuls into four.
How UC Davis got here: This is the Aggies' 10th year in the Big West and first NCAA Tournament bid.