No. 13 UC Irvine vs. No. 4 Kansas State
FRIDAY AT SAP CENTER, SAN JOSE
How they got here: Irvine won the Big West Conference regular-season and tournament championships to earn an automatic berth. Kansas State, ranked 15th in the latest Associated Press poll, claimed a share of the Big 12 regular-season title before falling to Iowa State in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Last 10 games: Irvine 10-0; Kansas State 7-3.
Record vs. NCAA tournament teams: Irvine 2-1; Kansas State 8-5.
Best victory: Irvine won 80-75 in November at St. Mary’s, which is seeded 11th in the South Regional. Kansas State beat Texas Tech, which is seeded third in the West Regional, 58-45 in January.
Common opponent: Texas A&M. Irvine beat the Aggies 74-73; Kansas State lost to the Aggies 65-53.
Irvine lineup: Starters — G Max Hazzard (12.5 ppg), G Evan Leonard (11.1 ppg), F Jonathan Galloway (7.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg), F Tommy Rutherford (6.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg), G Eyassu Worku (7.5 ppg, 2.8 apg). Top reserves — F Elston Jones (5.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg), F Collin Welp (8.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg), G Robert Cartwright (6.8 ppg), F John Edgar Jr. (6.4 ppg), F JC Butler (1.5 ppg), G Spencer Rivers (1.4 ppg).
Kansas State lineup: Starters — G Barry Brown Jr. (14.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg), F Dean Wade (12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg), F Xavier Sneed (10.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg), G Kamau Stokes (10.8 ppg, 3.3 apg), F Makol Mawien (6.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg). Reserves — G Cartier Diarra (6.7 ppg), G Mike McGuirl (3.5 ppg), F Austin Tice (1.9 ppg), G Shaun Neal-Williams (1.4 ppg), F Levi Stockard III (1.8 ppg).
It’s a fact: This will mark the second meeting between the schools in men’s basketball in 16 months. The Wildcats beat the Anteaters 71-49 in November 2017 at Manhattan, Kan.