OPEN GAME THREAD: Nebraska

KansasStateNebraska

#10 Kansas St. Wildcats (17-4 | 4-3) AT Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-8 | 1-5)

Devaney Sports Center — Lincoln, Neb.
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 — 7:05 PM CST

Big 12 Network | ESPN Full Court | ESPN360

 

Cue another bounce-back game. So far this season, K-State is 3-0 in games following a loss. And those wins have been some of the Wildcats' spectacular — Dayton, Texas A&M and Baylor.

Let's hope the pattern continues tonight. It will butt heads directly with another, less inspiring trend: K-State has a four-game losing streak in Lincoln. Neither Bob Huggins nor Frank Martin have won there.

Blame Doc Sadler's defensive voodoo and propensity for backdoor cuts, or blame K-State for always finding a way to carry a lack of focus into the Devaney Center.

It matters not. We are expected to win this game, and it's time to start proving this is a true Top 10 team.

It begins tonight. Frank already collected his first win against Baylor. Compared to that, this is nothing.

If I might make a personal request: I will miss at least the first half of the game because I have to cover a meeting. I'll check in here periodically, so if someone could try to keep me updated on the score and major plays, I'd appreciate it greatly.

Hopefully, I'll get free by 8 p.m. and can catch the ending. I am DVRing it, but it's never quite the same when you know the outcome.

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

From the K-State Sports Information Department:

Kansas State (17-4, 4-3 Big 12) begins a stretch of four road games in a six-game stretch Tuesday, when the Wildcats head to north to face Nebraska (13-8, 1-5 Big 12) at the Devaney Sports Center, at 7 p.m.

It will be the first of back-to-back road games for the squad, because it ventures even further north to Ames, Iowa, on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup with Iowa State (13-8, 2-4 Big 12) at Hilton Coliseum.

Tuesday's game will be a contrast of styles, with the Wildcats averaging 81.3 points per game, which ranks fourth in the Big 12, while the Cornhuskers are holding foes to a Big 12-best 60.2 points per game.

It will be the 217th meeting between K-State and Nebraska, including the 95th in Lincoln.

The Wildcats own a 123-93 edge in the series, which dates back to 1906.

However, the Cornhuskers are 60-34 all-time at home in the series, including wins in 16 of the last 20 meetings.

K-State has not won at the Devaney Sports Center since posting a 66-64 win over the Huskers on March 1, 2006.

The contest will be televised regionally on the Big 12 Network and nationally on ESPN Full Court, with Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst) on the call.

K-State returned to the Top 10 for the third time this season Monday, when the Wildcats advanced one spot to a tie for 10th with Duke in the Associated Press poll.

The squad moved two spots to No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

It marks the first time that the program ranked among the AP Top 15 for five 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.

On a day highlighted by a College Gameday-record crowd of 8,159 fans at Bramlage Coliseum, K-State dropped an 81-79 overtime to archrival No. 2 Kansas on Saturday night before a sold-out crowd.

The Wildcats couldn't convert on a steal at the end of regulation and the Jayhawks claimed their 21st win in the last 22 meetings in Manhattan.

It was just the 12th meeting between the two teams when both were ranked in the Top 25 and just the ninth when both squads were ranked in the Top 15.

It also was the first overtime game in the series since the teams first met in Bramlage Coliseum in 1989.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats still have their best record under head coach Frank Martin with their current 17-4 overall record, including their best mark since the 1961-62 squad opened the year with a 19-2 overall mark.

It marks just the seventh time that the team has won 17 of its first 21 games.

Junior Jacob Pullen led five players in double figures with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range, to go with a game-best five assists.

Backcourt mate Denis Clemente posted 13 points, while super sub Jamar Samuels added 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

Rookie Wally Judge had his best game of the Big 12 season with a near double-double against the Jayhawks, with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

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