It’s been a wild four game stretch.
Just two weeks ago, the Kansas State Wildcats entered their first game with the West Virginia Mountaineers win-less in conference play, and looking for all the world like they might just keep on losing. Then the improbable happened, and the Wildcats played their best game of the season in-route to an 84-68 victory in Manhattan.
“The Phight” followed, as well as the Big 12/SEC Challenge game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, and while the Wildcats were unable to capture any momentum gained from their victory over the Mountaineers, those two subsequent road losses may have done more for this bunch than that victory ever could have.
“The Phight” came at the end of a nasty loss down the river, but what is decidedly more important is that the Wildcats, for lack of a better term, never stopped fighting. The next game was a loss too, but the Cats put up a full 40 minutes of effort even when they couldn’t get shots to fall.
Those games led into last Wednesday night, when the Wildcats put a full 40 minutes of effort into the defensive end, got just enough shots to fall, and picked up their second victory of the season, 61-53 at home against the visiting Sooners. Sure, there’s still a lot of season left, and there’s still a lot more growth needed from this team. But it finally feels like this group is headed in the right direction, even if we’re going to be driving down a gravel road for a while.
So, don’t expect another miracle today. Recent history suggests that the Mountaineers, coming off a road loss this past week plus their recent humiliation in Bramlage, will be out for blood at home against the visiting Wildcats. It could be exceptionally brutal for the visitors. But maybe, just maybe, the Wildcats could shock again. Stranger things have happened.
Today’s game starts at the same time as the last go-round, with a 1:05pm CST tip that can be seen on ESPN2 with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Tim Welsh (analyst) on the call. You might be able to stream the game via WatchESPN if you are in the correct market. Be sure and check out our How to Watch post for full details.
If you don’t get ESPN2, or can’t access the stream, you can listen to Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (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, and satellite radio on XM 388.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (9-11)
G: #4 David Sloan
G: #3 DaJuan Gordon
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #23 Montavious Murphy
F: #14 Makol Mawien
West Virginia Mountaineers (16-4)
G: #5 Jordan McCabe
G: #10 Jermaine Haley
F: #11 Emmitt Matthews Jr.
F: #1 Derek Culver
F: #34 Oscar Tshiebwe