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K-State men climb to 15th, 16th in basketball polls

Wildcats are neck-and-neck with Jayhawks ahead of Monday’s showdown.

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

A week ago, the Kansas State Wildcats (21-6, 11-3 Big 12) men’s basketball team fell fairly hard in the rankings, despite splitting a pair of games against teams that were, at the time, contenders in the Big 12 race.

Now, after convincingly dispatching the ninth and 10th teams in the conference standings, the Wildcats have shot back up in the polls.

When the Associated Press poll came out Monday morning, the Wildcats climbed seven spots, back up to No. 16 in the country. That puts K-State one spot behind KU, and ties No. 17 Maryland for the biggest jump in the poll. Less than half a position separates the Jayhawks, Wildcats, and Terrapins, as K-State trails KU by 21 poll points and leads Maryland by 10, in a poll with 64 voters.

Later in the morning, when the Coaches Poll came out, K-State and KU swapped places, with K-State in 15th and KU in 16th. The Wildcats climbed six spots in the poll, which is the largest jump of the week. Like in the AP, K-State and KU are separated by less than one full poll position.

The Wildcats and Jayhawks will have an opportunity to break that dead heat in pollsters’ eyes Monday night, as they face off in the evening’s premiere college basketball slot for ESPN’s Big Monday in Lawrence.