2011-12 Record: 22-11 (10-8, Big 12 Conference), Lost in Third Round of NCAA Tournament
Why They Can Beat Michigan: Bruce Weber's familiarity with the Wolverines
Jamar Samuels ran out of eligibility at the end of the 2011-12 season, but the Kansas State Wildcats return five of their six leading scorers from last year's team, and new head coach Bruce Weber is familiar enough with the Michigan Wolverines to have his team ready for a potential Preseason NIT Championship Game tilt.
Weber went 4-5 against John Beilein's teams, while the two were at Illinois and Michigan, respectively, and two of those losses were last season when the Fighting Illini were completely falling apart.
Senior guard Rodney McGruder averaged 15.8 points per game last season, but struggled with his shot and finished 3-of-12 from the field in Kansas State's season-opening rout of the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, Thomas Gipson, Angel Rodriguez, Martavious Irving and Will Spradling all finished the game in double figures, and Kansas State managed to pull down 48 rebounds as a team, which is something that could give Michigan problems if they square off at Madison Square Garden.
The Wildcats are hosting the Midwest Region and will have to go through the likes of the Lamar Cardinals, North Texas Mean Green in the quarterfinals and the No. 2 seeded Virginia Cavaliers if the chalk holds through the first two rounds of the tournament.