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Kansas State vs Iowa State: Big 12 Opener Open Game Thread

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The Wildcats and Cyclones tangle in Ames to open Big 12 play

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas State Wildcats will open Big 12 conference play on the road for like the 500th time tonight, heading north to Ames to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.

While this may be the conference opener for both teams, it is currently the de facto last-place game since K-State and Iowa State are the only two Big 12 teams that are not ranked or receiving votes in the latest polls. If you want to catch-up on how all the Big 12 teams finished their non-conference slate, be sure and check out Luke Sobba’s full Big 12 roundup as we head into league play.

Iowa State started the season at 0-2 before regrouping and reeling off nine-straight wins. That streak includes wins over Iowa and Missouri Valley preseason #2 pick Northern Iowa. Oh, and a win over Tulsa. Iowa State plays guard-heavy like K-State, and like K-State lacks a “true” post player, with the tallest guy on the roster listed at 6’9”, and the starting center, Jeff Beverly, listed at just 6’6”. But they have a dynamic freshman in Lindell Wigginton, who has posted four 20-point games already this season.

The Wildcats are coming off a sloppy late-night victory over Washington State in Spokane. The Cats have looked okay this season, except for the disappointing loss to Tulsa, but that 10-2 record is misleading considering the Cats have played a bottom-quarter schedule in terms of strength. The Cats have played just three teams that are in the top-150 of RPI*, and went 1-2, with their best victory over current #147 (RPI) Washington State. K-State is led in scoring by the trio of juniors, with Barry Brown (14.4 ppg), Kamau Stokes (14.2 ppg), and Dean Wade (13.2ppg) all averaging over a baker’s dozen. Xavier Sneed is the fourth Wildcat to average double-digits putting in 11.6 ppg.

*RPI via ESPN

Historically, the Wildcats have owned the Cyclones, but Bruce Weber-led teams have struggled against Iowa State, going just 3-8, 0-5 on the road, in the last five years. Steve Prohm has so-far swept the Wildcats during his time in Ames, posting a 4-0 record in his first two seasons. The Wildcats last win in Ames was in Jacob Pullen’s senior season, when the Cats squeaked out a 86-85 win on Feb. 5, 2011. Regardless of how good Iowa State is it is tough to win in Ames, and the Cats will need to be firing on all cylinders to head back to Manhattan with a victory and break the “Hilton Magic”.

Tonight’s game, scheduled for a 8:05 p.m. CST tip-off, will be on ESPNU/ESPN3 with Chuckie Kempf (play-by-play) and Lance Blanks (analyst) on the call. Be sure and check out Jon Morse’s full How To Watch post for more details.

The game can be heard over-the-air on the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the call (you can also listen online for free at TuneIn.com or at KStateSports.com). Satellite radio is available tonight on Sirius 135, XM 383, and “Internet” 965, though it will be the Iowa State broadcast.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State (10-2)
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien

Iowa State (9-2)
G: #1 Nick Weiler-Babb
G: #4 Donovan Jackson
G: #5 Lindell Wigginton
F: #33 Solomon Young
F: #55 Jeff Beverly