In many ways, the Kansas State Wildcats’ 82-72 Wednesday night victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys was a surprise — it was the first time the Cats had broken even 70 points since their mid-January win streak. Barry Brown’s 25 points, his most in that same span, led a balanced scoring effort from the Cats that saw four players in double-figures. The Wildcats also had a surprise night off the bench from Levi Stockard, who has been known for racking up more fouls than points in most games, who scored a season-high 8 points and pulled down five rebounds. Overall, the Wildcats scored 24 points off the bench, marking the reserve unit’s highest point total in Big 12 play.
But there are still big question marks. The Cats lost the second half in Stillwater, giving up 52 second-half points to the Cowboys — the OSU second half would’ve been enough to beat the Cats whole-game score a week ago. And the Cats have not fared well in their last three home games, as K-State has failed to break the 56-point mark in Bramlage since the 73-68 victory over TCU back on January 20th.
If there was a team to break that funk against this season, it’s the Iowa State Cyclones. The ‘Clones are in last place in the Big 12, and all four of ISU’s Big 12 wins have come in Hilton Coliseum, with the Cyclones going a perfect
0-7 0-6 on the road in Big 12 play, and 0-7 overall in true road games (ISU’s lone true road trip in the non-con was to Columbia, MO, where they lost 59-74 to Mizzou to open the season).
Of course, if we’ve learned anything from watching Big 12 play this season, or the Wildcats under Bruce Weber the last several years, it’s that anything is possible. And, just like in football, K-State and Iowa State play each other close no matter the venue or quality of team. The Wildcats should win this game, but it’s by no means a given. It’s just as likely for this team to lose in confusing fashion as it is for this team to put away a team that it should beat easily. Welcome to Weberville.
Today’s game, scheduled for a 12 p.m. CST tip-off, will be on ESPNU/ESPN3 with Doug Sherman (play-by-play) and Bryndon Manzer (analyst) on the call. Be sure and check out Luke Sobba’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 199, and “Internet” 953.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (18-8, 7-6 Big 12)
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien
Iowa State (13-12, 4-8 Big 12)
G: #5 Lindell Wigginton
G: #4 Donovan Jackson
G: #2 Cameron Lard
F: #23 Zoran Talley Jr.
F: #33 Solomon Young