OPEN GAME THREAD: Sunflower Showdown

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KansasStateKansas

Kansas State Wildcats (14-7, 2-4) AT Kansas Jayhawks (19-1, 4-1)

Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kan.
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 — 6 PM CST

ESPN

Every year in Lawrence, it's the same damn thing:

We come out looking like scared little girls, the crowd goes insane, we spot the home team about 15-20 points with stupid mistakes and shoddy defense, the refs put one of our stars on the bench with two fouls before the first media timeout, and that's all she wrote.

Each year under Frank Martin, we've lost by an increasingly higher margin to our overlords to the east.

So what do I want to see today?

For starters, not losing by more than 17 points, which would continue that ugly trend. But more important, I'd like to see us play our best defense of the season and at least make the Hawks have to work for it a little bit. Make 'em know they were in a battle, Cats — please.

KU hasn't lost back-to-back home games in 1989, though. Don't expect that to change tonight.

You can read my preview of Kansas here or talk trash to Jayhawk fans at Rock Chalk Talk.

Predictions:

  • BracketCat: Kansas 82, Kansas State 67
  • GAMER: Kansas 84, Kansas State 65
  • Pomeroy: Kansas 79, Kansas State 64
  • Sagarin: Kansas 83, Kansas State 71

From the K-State Sports Information Department:

Kansas State (14-7, 2-4 Big 12) will renew one of the oldest rivalries in college basketball tonight when the Wildcats travel east to Lawrence to play No. 6 Kansas (19-1, 4-1 Big 12) on the 150th anniversary of statehood before a nationally televised audience on ESPN at 6 p.m.

The Sunflower Showdown, presented by Dillons, will serve as host for the popular College Gameday show for the third time in four seasons, which began first at Allen Fieldhouse on March 1, 2008, and most recently was broadcast from Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 30, 2010.

The Gameday crew — host Rece Davis, and analysts Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis — will broadcast live on James Naismith Court from 9 to 11 a.m., with ESPNU carrying the first hour (9 to 10 a.m.) before ESPN picks up coverage at 10 a.m.

The primetime hour will air on ESPN from 5 to 6 p.m. before the crew of Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline reporter) calls the contest.

In addition to the special anniversary for the state of Kansas, which became the 34th state Jan. 29, 1861, the contest also will serve as the 2011 Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, in which college basketball coaches nationwide will wear sneakers with their attire to raise cancer awareness and remind fans about making healthy choices.

The event is a collaboration of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Nike has designed special black and purple sneakers for the K-State coaching staff.

Saturday's game will be the 271st meeting between the state's two flagship universities in a series that dates back to 1907.

It is the sixth-most played series in Division I college basketball history and the longest involving members of the current Big 12 Conference.

The two teams have met every season for 104 years, which represents the eighth-most continuously played series.

The Jayhawks own a 180-90 edge in the series, including an 81-35 advantage in Lawrence.

They have dominated the series since the start of Big 12play, winning 33 of 35 meetings, including 14 victories in the last 15 meetings at Allen Fieldhouse.

K-State has not beaten a top-10 team on the road since knocking off top-ranked Kansas 68-64 on Jan. 17, 1994.

The Jayhawks have won six in a row in the series, including four straight at home, since the Michael Beasley-led Wildcats earned the team's first win in the series at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 30, 2008.

Last season, the squads met three times, with Kansas earning both regular-season victories to go with a 72-64 win in the title game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.

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