Open Game Thread: K-State vs Oklahoma State

Someone's going to have to out-gun this guy. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats' treacherous dance through the minefield of conference play begins today.

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Who: K-State (10-3/0-0) vs. #6 Oklahoma State (12-1/0-0)

When: January 4, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. CT

Where: Manhattan, Kan. | Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Media: 1350 KMAN | ESPNU

One team is rising, the other has been punched in the mouth off the court. K-State hosts the sixth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys today in a game which could well define the entire season. Monday, center Michael Cobbins was laid low with an achilles tear; that will potentially open more opportunities in the post for Thomas Gipson and friends. Wednesday, guard Stevie Clark was arrested for possession. Clark, who is listed as Marcus Smart's backup but often sees time in tandem with the all-world point guard, was not openly suspended by Travis Ford, but his status for today's game remains up in the air.

K-State leads the overall series 74-49, and has a 36-15 edge in Manhattan. Bruce Weber is 3-1 against the Cowboys, while Ford is 4-6 against K-State, including a 1-3 mark at Bramlage. Monday's win against George Washington was Weber's 350th career victory. Ford has 306... in two fewer years as a head coach.

A win today would be a launching pad toward a .500 season or better, which should be enough to get into the NCAA field. It would also serve as a final announcement to the national media that this team, while young and still openly flawed, is a credible threat. A loss? Well, the Cats were supposed to lose this one anyway, right? There may be a sense of missed opportunity, but today presents a no-lose situation for the Wildcats so long as they don't get blown out of the Octagon.

Let's go, Cats!

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