OPEN GAME THREAD: Baylor

KansasStateBaylor

#11 Kansas St. Wildcats (16-3 | 3-2) AT #24 Baylor Bears (15-3 | 2-2)

Ferrell Center — Waco, Texas
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010 — 7:05 PM CST

FOX Sports Kansas City | ESPN Full Court | ESPN360

 

We come to it at last — the turning of the tide. This week could define our season, and it begins with a stiff challenge tonight in Waco.

I pray we can meet it. The odds are against us, but I say: Damn the odds and damn the torpedoes.

For my previous analysis of the Bears, click here. To see K-State's game notes, follow the jump.

From the K-State Sports Information Department:

Kansas State (16-3, 3-2 Big 12) looks to get back on the winning track Tuesday night, when the Wildcats hit the road to face a surging Baylor squad (15-3, 2-2 Big 12) at the Ferrell Center, at 7 p.m.

The squad is coming off a disappointing performance against Oklahoma State on Saturday, in which it saw its Bramlage Coliseum-record 14-game homecourt winning streak come to an end in a 73-69 defeat.

The team shot a season-low 35.6 percent from the field, including just 27.6 percent from 3-point range, and posted a near-season-low 22 points in the paint.

It was the first loss for the Wildcats at home since an 85-74 loss to No. 16 Kansas on Feb. 14, 2009, and the first at home to an unranked team since Baylor earned an 83-65 win on Jan. 21, 2009.

Now, the Wildcats venture to the Ferrell Center, where the Bears have won a school-record 11 consecutive home games, including a perfect 10-0 mark this season.

Both teams entered the week ranked in the AP Top 25, with K-State dropping one spot to No. 11 and Baylor moving one spot to No. 24.

It will mark the first time in series history that both teams will enter the game ranked in the AP Top 25.

The contest will be televised regionally on FOX Sports Kansas City, as well as nationally on the ESPN Full Court package, with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the call.

Tuesday's contest not only will pit two of the best backcourts in the Big 12 against each other, but also two of the best rebounding squads.

The Baylor tandem of LaceDarius Dunn (19.3 points per game) and Tweety Carter (16.2 points per game) are averaging 35.5 points per game, while K-State counters with the duo of Jacob Pullen (18.8 points per game) and Denis Clemente (14.6 points per game), who are averaging 33.4 points per game.

The teams rank in the top four in both overall rebounding and rebounding margin, while K-State is tops in offensive rebounds (15.9) and Baylor second in defensive rebounds (29.06).

This will be 21st all-time meeting between the two teams, including the 15th since the inception of the Big 12, with the series tied at 10-10.

Baylor leads the series, 9-5, in the Big 12 era, including wins in three of the last four meetings.

Overall, the Bears are 5-2 all-time at home, including five wins in the last six meetings in Waco.

K-State hasn't won at the Ferrell Center since earning a 64-62 victory on March 2, 2004.

Last season, Baylor posted its largest win in the series with an 83-65 victory in Manhattan.

K-State stayed in the Top 15 in both major polls for the fourth consecutive week Monday, when the Wildcats dropped one spot to No. 11 in the Associated Press poll and four slots to No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

It marks the first time that the program has ranked among the AP Top 15 for four consecutive weeks since the 1961-62 squad was ranked among the AP Top 10 for 14 consecutive weeks, from Dec. 19, 1961 to March 13, 1962.

Although the squad dropped its game against Oklahoma State on Saturday, the current 16-3 record ties for the sixth-best start in school history and the best since the 1961-62 team opened with a 17-2 record.

It marks just the seventh time in school history that a K-State team has won at least 16 of its first 19 games.

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