Much ink has been, and will be yet, spilled in preview of Wednesday night's game. Some of it will actually be devoted to looking at the game, but a lot of it will be about the streak. I'm sure that last phrase needs no further amplification among those reading this board.
We'll start in Kansas City, where KC Star scribe Jason Whitlock believes Michael Beasley is good enough to bring the streak to an end. For certain, this year will be the first time in a very long time that the best player on the court in this game was dressed in purple. Whitlock takes things a tad overboard, which is only par for the course for the big guy. He says "Beasley is different from, more imposing and better than [Kevin] Durant" and that "50 points [from Beasley] wouldn't surprise [him]."
Better than Durant? Probably. Capable of scoring 50 against the 'beakers? I suppose, but let's not get carried away based on a game against Iowa State. Don't get me wrong, though, there's nobody who would love to see it more than me.
Onward, then, to Whitlock's coworker Joe Posnanski, who writes that Bill Self has "his" team this year in Lawrence. Apparently they all have a great connection going in some sort of ethereal, soulmatish kind of way. This article is interesting because...well, no real reason, I just posted it as an excuse to post this picture of Sasha Kaun.
Sticking with the mythical bird theme, it's interesting to see how their players are handling Beasley's preseason prediction that K-State would win in Manhattan, in Lawrence, and in Africa (that game hasn't been scheduled yet). You can tell it really chaps their asses that he said it, but they've obviously been told not to respond...at least not too directly. Here was Sherron Collins' "response"...
"He’s a tough player," Collins said. "But for him to go out and say something like that ... we’re going to take it all in. We’re not going to respond back to him. Just gonna let our game talk for us."
I dearly hope Collins needs Beasley's commentary to get him excited for this game. Dearly.
Moving west to Topeka, the Capital-Journal notes that the Wildcats aren't giving the 'beakers any more bulletin board material these days. Well, except maybe one.
"We have a good shot to beat anybody," Beasley said. "Twenty-and-0, a million and 0, it doesn't really matter to me."
That's why I love these new guys on the team. They're not awed by anything, they haven't been immersed in the history of this thing, it's just another game to them. That may be what we've needed all along.
The streak has endured through lavendar jerseys and blackouts. We really need to just act like it's another game, even if it does carry significant emotional implications that aren't present when, say, we take on Texas Tech.
Finally, we move southwest to 'ta town, where BOTC favorite Bob Lutz chronicles the history of the s-word. It's a fascinating account if you're into that morbid fascination thing, but I don't know where he came up with this...
Electric crowds in Manhattan haven't been the norm during The Streak. In many of those games, a small K-State crowd would gather already assured of the outcome.
I've been to four of these games. I can assure you that I've never seen a crowd that was "small" and I've never seen a crowd that wasn't supremely excited for that game. Just know that I wasted my time reading Lutz's article so you wouldn't have to. Thanks for the gratitude.
Much more to come this week. Stay tuned...