Syracuse center and Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Fab Melo, will miss the NCAA Tournament because of an eligibility issue. If K-State can get by USM in the first round, this presents a huge opportunity to knock off a No. 1 seed in the Round of 32.
One of the keys to taking advantage of Melo's absence would be a big game from Jamar Samuels, particularly on the glass. The senior forward inexplicably failed to grab a single rebound against Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament. He's looking for a strong finish, and K-State will need it if it expects to play on the second weekend.
Jordan Henriquez will be another important factor if K-State expects to make the Sweet 16. Between Samuels and Henriquez, K-State can take advantage of Melo's absence and dominate on the glass.
Big 12 Conference
The Sports Business Journal is reporting that the Big 12 is on the verge of an extension with ESPN for its first-tier media rights. The current contract runs through 2016, but the extension would be through 2025, which would mirror the second-tier agreement with Fox. Between the two contracts, Big 12 schools will bring in almost $2.5 billion total, or an average of about $20 million per year. Not bad for a bunch of podunk school in flyover states.
Also, and granted this is just Twitter, but Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News is hearing that the Big 12 schools may extend their grant of media rights to run through the length of the ESPN and Fox contracts, which would tie the schools together at least through 2025.