OPEN GAME THREAD: Iowa State (Part 2)

IowaStateKansasState

Iowa State Cyclones (14-16 | 3-12) AT #5 Kansas St. Wildcats (24-5 | 11-4)

Farmageddon on the Hardwood | Senior Night
Bramlage Coliseum — Manhattan, Kan.
Saturday, March 6 — 5:05 PM CST

Big 12 Network | ESPN Full Court | ESPN360

 

Feel free to begin discussing today's games without me today, as I will be in transit to Manhappiness for my first game in the Octagon of Doom since March 2008.

I felt that I owed it to Denis Clemente, Luis Colon and Chris Merriewether to help thank them in person for everything they've done for Wildcat Nation.

Today's a big game, folks.

A win locks up a No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and keeps us on track for a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, while an unthinkable loss would leave us at the mercy of the outcomes of today's other games.

For my previous analysis of the Cyclones, click here. To remind yourself of what happened last time, click here.

For K-State's game notes, follow the jump.

From the K-State Sports Information Department:

Kansas State (24-5, 11-4 Big 12) concludes the regular season at 5 p.m. Saturday, when the Wildcats bid farewell to three seniors by hosting Iowa State (14-16, 3-12) at Bramlage Coliseum.

The squad will celebrate the accomplishments of Denis Clemente, Luis Colon and Chris Merriewether in a pregame senior ceremony.

Colon and Merriewether will leave as the winningest senior class in school history.

Despite losing a chance at the Big 12 regular-season title with the loss to No. 2 Kansas on Wednesday night, K-State still has a great deal for which to play against Iowa State.

A victory not only would clinch sole possession of second place and the No. 2 seed at next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, but also give the Wildcats a tie with two other teams for the most wins in a single season (25) in school history.

This will be the 210th meeting between the two rivals in a series that dates back to 1909, with K-State holding a 133-76 edge all-time, including 77-23 at home.

The game will be broadcast regionally on the Big 12 Network, as well as nationally on ESPN Full Court, with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Paul Splittorff (analyst) on the call.

K-State moved up further in the Top 10 on Monday, ranking fifth in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls.

It marks the school's first AP Top 5 ranking since March 7, 1962, when the Wildcats ranked third, while it is the fifth Top 10 ranking in both polls this season, including the fourth straight week.

It is the highest ranking in the coaches' poll since USA Today took over ownership of the poll in 1993-94.

It marks the first time that the program has ranked among the AP Top 15 for nine consecutive weeks since the 1961-62 squad was ranked among the AP Top 10 for 15 weeks, while the team's current 12-week stay in the AP Top 25 is the longest since the 1972-73 squad was ranked for 16 straight weeks.

The Wildcats are off to their best start in nearly 50 years with their current 24-5 record.

The 24 wins tie for the fourth-most in school history and the most since the 1987-88 squad won a school-record 25, en route to the Elite Eight.

The team posted its 23rd 20-win season Feb. 13, becoming the first Wildcat squad to tally 20 or more wins in four consecutive seasons.

In addition, Frank Martin became the first head coach in school history to post three 20-win seasons to start a career, while the win over Oklahoma on Feb. 20 gave him the most wins by a head coach in his first three seasons.

K-State saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday night, when No. 2 Kansas broke open a tight game in the second half to post an 82-65 victory and earn an outright Big 12 title.

The backcourt tandem of Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, to pace the scoring attack, marking just the fifth time in their respective careers that they have posted 20 or more points in the same contest.

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