MANHATTAN — What a difference a day makes.

At least that's what Bruce Weber and the Kansas State Wildcats hope is the case.

By opening the NCAA Tournament in San Jose — they face No. 13 seed UC Irvine at 1 p.m. central time Friday in a first-round South Regional matchup — the Wildcats are getting an extra day to rest their weary bones.

Of course, any additional time is good when it comes to the injured foot of all-Big 12 forward Dean Wade, who missed the Big 12 Tournament with his return this week still in question. But it also provides more times for bumps and bruises to heal, not to mention the battle fatigue from a long, hard season.

"I think for our sake it's probably a good thing, there's no doubt," Weber said following the Sunday selection show, which revealed K-State as the No. 4 seed in the South with a 25-8 record. "Especially going across country.

"Even Barry (Brown) was complaining about a couple of things. Just playing on Friday gives you another day of rest and maybe another day to get across the country."

Brown, the Wildcats' senior all-conference guard and leading scorer, has been an ironman his entire career. He also has been a tireless worker in the practice gym, so much so that teammate Xavier Sneed called him "the gym termite" because "he eats the wood."

That's why Weber pleaded with him to take some time off to recharge.

"This is huge for him. He worked so hard," Weber said. "This hurt and that hurt.

"When we were sitting at breakfast (Saturday) we just said, 'Come back and get treatment, go chill, play your video games, whatever you do. (Sunday) the same thing, (Monday) just shoot.' So I hope it's a good thing for him."

Brown admitted that he finally listened to his coach.

"I took a day off to try to get right, mentally and physically," he said. "Just getting ready for what's coming up.

"UC Irvine, they're going to have my full, undivided attention."

Brown wasn't the only Wildcat in need of a respite. Sneed limped noticeably by the end of Friday's Big 12 Tournament semifinal loss to Iowa State and was sporting an ice pack immediately afterward.

"Hopefully a couple of days of rest, he can get healthy," said Weber, who described Sneed's multiple aches and pains as being "boogered up."

Then there's guard Cartier Diarra, who played 63 total minutes against TCU and Iowa State in Kansas City after returning from a broken finger that had kept him out of eight games and not allowed him to go through a single full-contact practice.

"We made him work out (Sunday). He was off (Saturday)," Weber said. "The whole points was, he's got to keep his conditioning.

"What he did was amazing. He did not have a live practice for five weeks and he went those two games and they were both high-level games."

Almost forgotten is senior guard Kamau Stokes, who like Wade has been fighting recurring foot issues while also recently suffering from migraine headaches. Stokes also missed a good portion of last season with the same foot injury and never was 100 percent when he returned.

"It's definitely rewarding to have another shot," Stokes said. "I feel fine, though."

Fatigue also can become a factor in the NCAA Tournament for teams advancing to the second round with just one day to get ready. But that's where the Big 12 schedule, which had the Wildcats playing three straight Big Monday road games on the heels of Saturday home dates, came in handy.

"Quick turnarounds, that's just the hardest thing," Brown said. "Especially when you try and scout and prepare for a team that you've never played before.

"But I think this year definitely helped us, more than any other year I would say, because we had three in a row, Saturday-Monday, Saturday-Monday, Saturday-Monday. Getting that one-day prep, playing through a little bit of fatigue or injury, whatever it might be, from that Saturday game to try and get a win on that Monday."

The early start time Friday — 11 a.m. local time — also might actually benefit the Wildcats, who have to allow for a two-hour time change while UC Irvine does not. But Weber wasn't overly concerned about that either way.

"I don't know if it matters," he said. "We've played at all times, and I guess that's the good part and the bad part of our league, that we've played early games, we've played late games and everywhere in between and we've played basically every day of the week.

"It's the NCAA Tournament, and your juices better be flowing. You can look at it, too, that it's 1 o'clock our time, which most of our league games were somewhere in that 1 to 3 or 5 period."

Brown was asked whether the day off helped.

"I don't know," he said with a smile. "We'll see. I felt good (Saturday) too, so we'll see."