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16/15 Kansas State at 15/16 Kansas: Open Game Thread

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The Wildcats head east to the land of the squawks hoping to build on their Big 12 lead and bury the Jayhawks for good.

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

Imagine if you will “Team A”, leading the conference, and looking to bury their rival in the standings with a big win. Then imagine “Team B”, sitting in third, needing to win at home to keep their hopes at a conference title alive.

Most years in the last few decades, Team A has been the Kansas Jayhawkss, and since 2006 Team B has often been the Kansas State Wildcats. But this is 2019, and for the first time since the 1970’s Team A is the team in Manhattan, not Lawrence. What a strange world we live in. We’ve been in uncharted territory for a while, but we’re starting to reach new heights of historical importance.

So, the last time K-State won two in a row against KU was between 1993 and 1994, when Dana Altman’s last two sqauds managed to beat KU in Kansas City in the 1993 Big 8 tournament, and then the following January in Lawrence. To find a sweep, we must travel back to 1983, the last time K-State beat KU at home until 2007, when the Wildcats picked up wins four and five in a five-game win streak over KU in the final year of Ted Owens reign in Lawrence.

The last time K-State won an out-right conference title? 1977, when Jack Hartman’s charges performed the triple-sweep of Kansas, winning first in Manhattan, then in Lawrence, then in Kansas City as the Wildcats won both the regular season and conference tournament titles.

A win tonight and these 2018-19 Wildcats could start to etch their names among the absolute best at Kansas State. But they still have to survive Lawrence, the “Phog”, and a KU squad that has been very good at home even as they get dismantled on the road.

It’s going to be a fight, but for the first time in many, many years, these Wildcats have not lost before the game has even started (h/t TB).

We’re on the second week of our Big Monday road trio, so tonight’s game is scheduled for a 8:07pm CST tip-off, and will be available on ESPN with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst), and Holly Rowe (sideline reporter) 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 382 / Internet 973 (might be the KU broadcast). If you’re in to that sort of thing, there’s also a national radio broadcast from Westwood One Sports with Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (analyst) on the call. 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 (21-6, 11-3 Big 12)
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien

Kansas Jayhawks (20-7, 9-5 Big 12)
G: #5 Quentin Grimes
G: #11 Devon Dotson
G: #30 Ochai Agbaji
F: #1 Dedric Lawson
F: #33 David McCormack

Go Cats!