Bramlage Coliseum — Manhattan, Kan.
Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 — 12:30 PM CST
Big 12 Network | ESPN Full Court | ESPN3.com
I typically dislike using the phrase "must-win game" when describing any individual contest during a season of 30+ games in which the primary objective is to win around 20 of them and position yourself for postseason play.
That said, this is a must-win game today.
Texas Tech will vie with Oklahoma for the coveted honor of "worst team in the Big 12" and we finally will be at full roster strength for the first time since the Florida game, due to the return of Curtis Kelly from a six-game suspension.
Whether his return will be sufficient to buoy a young, immature team with a host of problems remains to be seen, however.
Those not lucky enough to attend the game in person (like me) will be treated to the dulcet tones of Mitch Holthus and Rich Zvosec.
I wouldn't expect many "Doberman" references from the phrase's creator, though, unless Kelly has little to no rust to shake off.
UPDATE: Frank announced today that Freddy Asprilla quit the team. Yay! More drama!
You can read my preview of Texas Tech here or visit with Red Raider fans at Double T Nation, although at this point, I'm unsure if any of them even realize their team still is playing basketball (or at least pretending to).
BracketCat: Kansas State 84, Texas Tech 68
GAMER: Kansas State 84, Texas Tech 64
Pomeroy: Kansas State 81, Texas Tech 68
Sagarin: Kansas State 87, Texas Tech 72
From the K-State Sports Information Department:
No. 20 Kansas State (12-5, 0-2 Big 12) will look to rebound from consecutive losses to start conference play when the Wildcats host Texas Tech (8-9, 0-2 Big 12) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.
The game will highlight Legends Weekend, when the university will welcome back close to 50 former players and coaches, including All-Americans Ernie Barrett and Jack Parr, and Hall of Fame head coach Tex Winter.
The lettermen enjoyed activities Friday night with the current Wildcat team and coaching staff, and then will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s contest.
The game, which will be the second in a six-day period for the Cats, will be broadcast regionally on the Big 12 Network with Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst) on the call, and it also will be available on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com.
K-State will look to continue its recent success against Texas Tech, with wins in three of the last four meetings, including an 83-64 victory at United Spirit Arena a season ago in Lubbock.
Overall, the Wildcats hold a 13-12 edge in the series, including an 8-3 mark in games played in Manhattan.
The Red Raiders have won 11 of 17 meetings since the start of Big 12 play, including a five-game winning streak from 2004 to 2007.
The team will be back to full strength against Texas Tech — senior Curtis Kelly is eligible to return from his six-game suspension due to NCAA rules violations.
He has not played since the Florida game Dec. 18, after he and fellow senior Jacob Pullen were declared ineligible Dec. 20 by K-State when athletic officials confirmed the two had received impermissible benefits on the purchase of clothing at a local department store.
Kelly, who joined Pullen on the coaches’ preseason All-Big 12 team, ranked third in scoring at 10.3 points per game before his suspension.
He was named to several All-Newcomer teams as a junior in 2009-10.
It will mark just the fifth game that the team has been at full strength this year.