The Kansas State Wildcats have appeared in over 27 NCAA Tournaments in program history, winning more than 30 games and advancing to four Final Fours over the years. The Wildcats have been consistent in their history as they have reached the NCAA Tournament in every decade since 1948. Other notable tournament success includes more than 15 Sweet Sixteen appearances and advancing to the Elite Eight over 10 times in program history.
The Wildcats had their most success in the late 1940s and into the 1950s as they reached three Final Fours in that span. During their Final Four run in 1958, Kansas State squared off against college basketball great Oscar Robertson and the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In a game that went to overtime, and despite Robertson scoring 30 points, Kansas State came out on top and won 83-80. The game was considered one of the most exciting games that season and still ranks among one of the better tournament games in history.
Kansas State most memorable tournament run came in 1951 as the Wildcats advanced to the national championship game before losing to the Kentucky Wildcats by 10. Kansas State was ranked in the top 5 for most of the season and finished the year with 25 victories. After winning their first three tournament games, the battle of the Wildcats took place for the right to be called champion. Despite 13 points from Lew Hitch, Kansas State was unable to overcome the 22 points by Bill Spivey.
Kansas State Wildcats Recent NCAA Tourament History
Kansas State’s last tournament appearance occurred in 2014 as they entered March as the 9th seed. After winning 20 games, the Wildcats faced off against the Kentucky Wildcats who entered the Big Dance as the 8th seed. Unfortunately, Kansas State was about to face the hottest team in the tournament as they lost to Kentucky 56-49 despite 15 points from guard Marcus Foster. Kentucky was led by freshman big man Julius Randle and the team eventually advanced all the way to the national championship before losing to the Connecticut Huskies.