Welcome to 2020, in case you missed it, things are weird. Case in point: today’s game wasn’t added to the schedule until this past weekend, as schedules moved around due to COVID issues with Milwaukee, the team originally scheduled for tonight.
So for the just the second time in 11 years, the Kansas State Wildcats and Fort Hays Tigers will meet on the hardwood not in exhibition. Well...that’s not entirely correct. Thanks to a quirk in the rules from the MIAA, the Tigers can’t count this game on their record, so for the guys from Ft. Hays, this is an exhibition. And well, for K-State it doesn’t mean a whole lot more, as FHSU is a DII school, the Wildcats can’t use this game when it comes time for the NCAA Tournament....LOL, like it’ll really matter.
So the Wildcats and Tigers are playing in a game that basically does really matter. So why play? Because the Wildcats are 1-4 and the Tigers are 0-3 (all against MIAA competition) and both teams desperately need the practice against someone other than the end of the bench.
For the Wildcats, this should be an easy victory. Even the back-half of the bench should win this game by 10+ points, in a normal year. But nothing is normal about 2020. Expect the Wildcats to be frustratingly close. The final score may even look pretty terrible, but at this point, a win is a win, and a game is valuable court time.
Let’s just hope the Wildcats don’t embarrass themselves too much in the process.
Prime-time tip-off from Bramlage tonight, with a 7:01pm CT start that can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the call. This will be the first game back with fans for the men’s basketball team, so it should feel a bit more like home court environment than the first three games.
If you haven’t subscribed to ESPN+ (and you can do so right here), you can listen to Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) call the game on much of the K-State Sports Radio Network, and also available online via the TuneIn App and at K-StateSports.com, but no satellite radio.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (1-3)
G: #24 Nijel Pack
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #3 DaJuan Gordon
F: #11 Antonio Gordon
F: #1 Kaosi Ezeagu
Fort Hays State Tigers (0-3)
G: #5 Kaleb Hammeke
G: #0 Alvin Thompson
F: #4 Bjarni Jonsson
F: #21 Jared Vitztum
F: #34 Gilbert Peters
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