The Kansas State Wildcats might have shortened the lives of many fans on Wednesday night with their historic 21-point comeback against West Virginia, at least those who stuck it out through the whole thing. No one is thinking poorly of you if you turned off the game at halftime, or left Bramlage early that night. Things definitely looked bleak. But somehow, someway, these Cats pulled it together an got a much-needed victory.
Today’s game wont be any easier, even if the Cats can manage to carry the momentum from their 50-point second half with them. The Cats have not done well in Ames lately, and the Cats had lost 6-straight in Hilton Coliseum until last season’s 91-75 victory over the then-struggling Cyclones.
The Cyclones certainly aren’t struggling this season, entering today’s game ranked #20/21 and featuring the Big 12’s best scoring offense. They are led by Virginia transfer Marial Shayok, who is making a case early on for Big 12 Player of the Year, and are just getting Lindell Wigginton back to full strength after the sophomore, who starred for the Cyclones as a freshman last season, missed a big chunk of the non-conference slate due to a foot injury.
The Wildcats are still without their own star player, but there is a slight possibility that Preseason Big 12 PotY forward Dean Wade might make an appearance on the court today. It would likely be brief if he does play, but even just a little might be just what these Cats need to keep their confidence up. But the real key for the Wildcats, if they hope to keep up with the Cyclones, is for Barry Brown to stay aggressive, and for Kamau Stokes, Mike McGuirl, or one of the other guards to get hot again from deep. The Cats have proven they can keep themselves in games with great defense, but they have to couple it with an effective offense if they hope to keep up with the hot-shooting Cyclones.
We’ve got the early game today, with tip-off scheduled for 11:00am CST, will be available on ESPN2 with Chuckie Kempf (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (analyst) on the call. You should also be able to access the game on WatchESPN.com/ESPN3.
You will also be able to listen to live audio across much of the K-State Sports Network with with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action. The game will also be available streaming for free online via the TuneIn app/TuneIn.com and at www.kstatesports.com/watch. Satellite coverage is also available at XM 385 / Internet 976 (probably the ISU broadcast). Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, and Twitter updates (@KStateMBB) will also be a part of the coverage from K-State Athletics.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (11-4, 1-2 Big 12)
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #14 Makol Mawien
Iowa State Cyclones (12-3, 2-1 Big 12)
G: #1 Nick Weiler-Babb
G: #3 Marial Shayok
G: #22 Tyrese Haliburton
G: #11 Talen Horton-Tucker
F: #12 Michael Jacobson