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Kansas State vs TCU: Open Game Thread

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Basketball is back in Bramlage tonight

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Every game is a must-win. To say otherwise is crazy. But there are some games that a “more” must-win than others, and tonight’s game falls in that category.

With a two game losing streak in the books, both games that the Cats fell behind big early and struggled to come back, the Cats have to win tonight at home to keep things on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble. A win tonight would also correct the momentum that’s currently going in the wrong way after a bad week on the road.

But this isn’t the TCU of old. Jaime Dixon has basically turned TCU from a doormat into a decent team in one season. The Horned Frogs are 14-7 (3-5) on the season, sitting just behind the Wildcats who are 15-6 (4-4). The Frogs have three players averaging in double-figures, led by junior forward Vlad Brodziansky’s 14.0 ppg.

The Cats have been bitten by the injury bug, with Kamau Stokes, Dean Wade, and D.J. Johnson all suffering various injuries over the last few weeks. Wade has been basically non-existent in the last two games, scoring a combined 5 points in the two loses. His drop-off also means the Wildcats no longer boast 5 players hitting in double-digits on the season. The Cats rely heavily on the five starters, and when one is having a bad night(s), the team struggles.

The game, slated for an 6:30pm CT tip, will be broadcast on ESPNNews, with Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and Bryndon Manzer (analyst) on the call, and streaming may be available to you (depending on your location and provider/package) at WatchESPN.com. Audio, as always, is available on the K-State Sports Network (Sirius 108/XM 383) and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.

The Wildcat women are also in action at 6:30pm CT tonight, facing Texas Tech in Lubbock. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on FS Plus, as Chuck Heinz (play-by-play) and Brenda VanLengen (analyst) call the action. The Cats are coming off a big victory over Oklahoma State at home behind Kindred Wesemann’s career-high 34-point effort, 26 in the second half alone. Freshman Eternati Willock made her first career Big 12 start against OSU and had a solid outing with 10 points, nine rebounds, and a blocked shot. Audio will be available on select parts the K-State Sports Network with full streaming available online at K-StateSports.com.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #4 D.J. Johnson

TCU
G: #0 Jaylen Fisher
G: #25 Alex Robinson
G: #34 Kenrich Williams
F: #10 Vladimir Brodziansky
F: #15 J.D. Miller