Tonight is the night to reverse fortune.
Beginning with the road loss to Iowa State back on January 24th, the season has taken a very downward turn as the Kansas State Wildcats have lost five of their last six games. A win tonight would keep the Cats on the right side of the bubble, and set up themselves up for a very-doable 4-1 finish to the final five games. A loss, and we might see what’s left of the wheels come off.
Speaking of wheels, D.J. Johnson is still a game-time decision after tweaking his ankle a week and a half ago against Kansas. He has practiced over the last week, but was unable to go last weekend in Morgantown, and his absence was significant. Dean Wade again fell back to Earth, and after putting up 20 points against the Jayhawks could only manage 5 against the Mountaineers. Barry Brown started to return to his old self, finally notching double-digits for the first time in two weeks. Xavier Sneed also played well taking over Johnson’s starting spot (well, Wade moved to the 5 and Sneed played the 4), notching 10 points.
Iowa State, as it has all season, is projected to go small tonight — and with Johnson still on the fence that could really help the Cats — and a bit young as freshman forward Solomon Young is expected to make his second start in place of senior forward Darrell Bowie. The Cyclones don’t usually use the paint much, though, preferring to light teams up from outside the arc, including their record-setting performance in their win over KU in Allen Fieldhouse. As a team, the Cyclones are averaging 38 percent from behind the arc, with ace Matt Thomas, who put up 25 on the Cats in Ames, shooting a blistering 43 percent.
Greg Woods again has all the full rundown in the lead-up tonight’s FARMAGGEDDON rematch, so be sure and check it out.
Tonight’s game, slated for an 6:10pm CT tip, will be broadcast on ESPN2 as a part of a special 4-game ESPN Crossover event where college and NBA announcers switch places. Dave O’Brien, Kara Lawson, P.J. Carlesimo and reporter Holly Rowe will call the game. 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 136/XM 199) and streaming online at K-StateSports.com. AMS has your full info and odds, including information for the Women’s game tonight in West Virginia (also at 6:00pm CT).
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
G: #11 Monte Morris
G: #15 Naz Mitrou-Long
G: #21 Matt Thomas
G: #30 Deonte Burton
F: #33 Solomon Young