Tuesday’s night’s 87-69 win over No. 4/6 Oklahoma has certainly energized the fanbase. A win always helps, but a big win over a highly ranked team can do wonders. But the Kansas State Wildcats will have to avoid the post-big-win letdown they’ve experienced in each of the last two years.
Two years ago in the midst of the 2015-16 season, the big win was over then-No. 1 OU, and the Cats proceeded to lose five of their next six. Last year the Wildcats lost three straight after beating then-No. 7 West Virginia, then beat then-No. 2 Baylor in Waco before losing five of their next six (they went 4-10 to finish the season after that WVU win). That’s not a healthy trend, and one this season’s Wildcats will need to buck in order to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive and kicking.
Today’s game against the TCU Horned Frogs is definitely a tough opponent to try and start breaking that trend. While the Horned Frogs may be reeling a bit right now, especially with sophomore guard Jaylen Fisher, the Frogs second-leading scorer officially out for the season with a torn meniscus, they are still dangerous.
The Frogs started the season hot, going undefeated in non-conference play, before hitting a speed bump to start conference play. They are only 2-4 to start the conference season, but they’ve played OU twice, losing both by a combined 6 points, and took KU to the wire. All four of their conference losses have been by 5 points or less, and two have come in overtime.
That this game is at home for the Wildcats certainly helps. And it’s a Saturday afternoon game, meaning there is no reason that Bramlage should not be filled to the brim. Plus, it’s the throwback game. So let’s hope the 2017-18 Wildcats can channel a former Wildcat squad to rock the lavender/purple combo — like, say, the 1980-81 Wildcats.
There’s a bit of a throwback element in the broadcast for today’s game, scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. CST tip-off, as former “Voice of the Wildcats” Mitch Holthus will be doing play-by-play for ESPNU/ESPN3. He’ll be joined by analyst Reid Gettys 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 on Sirius 132, XM 200, and “Internet” 954.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (13-5, 3-3 Big 12)
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien
24/25 TCU (14-4, 2-4 Big 12)
G: #25 Alex Robinson
G: #1 Desmond Bane
G: #34 Kenrich Williams
F: #10 Vlad Brodziansky
F: #15 J.D. Miller