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Kansas State vs USC-Upstate: Open Game Thread

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K-State takes on a team from South Carolina

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Kansas State vs Cincinnati Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After their trek to Nashville, that went well enough, the Kansas State Wildcats are back in Bramlage Coliseum to kick off another three-game home* stand. Tonight’s cannon-fodder opponent is the USC Upstate Spartans, though that’s South Carolina not Southern California, who last played K-State in, the first meeting between the schools, back in Coach Bruce Weber’s first season in Manhattan.

*one of those games is in Wichita, but it’s the Wichita Wildcat Classic, so yeah

The Spartans have only been a D-1 program for the last decade, and are in their first season without long-time coach Eddie Payne, who retired just before the season started due to health reasons. New coach Kyle Perry has struggled with the Spartans this season, with only two of the Spartans seven losses coming to significantly higher-rated foes, Minnesota and Georgia.

As the Wildcats showed against Vanderbilt, they have the capability to play at a very high level...for a half at least. They also have the ability to play like they don’t care about fundamental aspects of basketball, like rebounding, for large stretches. Luckily, against a team like USC Upstate that won’t be as much an issue, but it’s still an issue that needs to get resolved as quickly as possible. The Wildcats opponent in Wichita won’t be as forgiving.

Since the Wildcats are back at home, the game will be back on FOX Sports Kansas City, K-StateHD.TV [free], and ESPN3 with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (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 Matt Walters (analyst) on the call (you can also listen online for free at TuneIn.com or at KStateSports.com). There is no satellite radio available tonight.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State (7-1)
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien

USC Upstate (3-7)
G: #1 Mike Cunningham
G: #3 Jure Span
G: #11 Deion Holmes
F: #0 Malik Moore
F: #4 Ramel Thompkins

Go Cats!