We’re almost to the end of this ride, folks. We’ve made it to the penultimate game of the regular season, and the final regular season road contest for the Kansas State Wildcats.
And, boy, has it been a wild ride.
With just two games to play, the Wildcats are in a dead heat with Texas Tech for first place in the Big 12. If both win the race continues into the last game of the regular season. Should one win and the other lose, the winner will go into the last game of the season in sole possession of first place. The stakes are high.
But the Wildcats get their hardest game of the last two, at least on paper, tonight as they are in Ft. Worth to take on the Horned Frogs; while Saturday they welcome in a reeling OU team to Bramlage for Senior Night. Meanwhile, Tech is at home tonight facing a dangerous Texas squad, and has to finish on the road at Iowa State, which is always a tough venue for the road team.
TCU is no slouch, but is just 5-3 at home this season, with all three losses coming in the month of February. They lost to KU in OT, Tech just two days ago, plus a head-scratching loss to OU the game immediately following the KU loss. They also have a home win against Iowa State in that run. So these Horned Frogs are beatable, but dangerous.
The last time these two teams met, we we’re finally figuring out that these Wildcats were for real after back-to-back road wins. TCU was the “trap game”, with the rematch against Texas Tech looming in just a few days. But on Legends Weekend, with the likes of Mike Evans, Chuckie Williams, and Rolando Blackmon looking on, the Wildcats cruised to a 65-55 victory.
They key for tonight will be the same as that afternoon in mid-January. Get out to an early lead and never look back. But no matter how it happens, the Wildcats just need to win. A loss means needing a Tech letdown this weekend to even share the title. A win means hoping Tech stumbles in Ames for the lone crown.
Just win, baby.
We’re the B-side of Big Monday, with tonight’s game scheduled for a 8:01pm CST tip-off on ESPN2 with Lowell Galindo (play-by-play) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call. You should also be able to access the game on WatchESPN.com/ESPN3. If you want to keep track of Texas Tech, they are on the A-side of Big Monday over on ESPN and their game also tips at 8pm.
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 381 / Internet 972 (might be the TCU 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 (22-7, 12-4 Big 12)
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien
TCU Horned Frogs (18-11, 6-10 Big 12)
G: #25 Alex Robinson
G: #1 Desmond Bane
G: #12 Kouat Noi
F: #15 JD Miller
F: #21 Kevin Samuel