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SLATE: Struggling Wildcats and Jayhawks meet tonight

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NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Kansas
Hoping not to repeat this scene from the last visit to Lawrence.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Has “Hate Day” every felt so blah?

Basketball

K-State vs. KU gameday usually gets the vitriolic juices flowing, but this year—with K-State riding an 8-game losing streak and KU losers in four of their past five games—it’s difficult for fans on either side to beat their chests. Both teams just need a win, though K-State’s need is much more desperate. At the least, both teams will hope to stage a second consecutive melee-free meeting.

On-court struggles aside, the Wildcats and Jayhawks will face each other in the 294th Dillons Sunflower Showdown tonight at 7:00 in the blue barn of Lawrence. Were K-State a more competitive team, fans might have some optimism about ending the long streak of futility in Allen Fieldhouse. But with the current losing streak, compounded by the loss of DaJuan Gordon to a foot injury, optimism is not high. Rivalries are weird, though. Last year’s struggling Wildcat squad play an excellent KU team tough in Manhattan, ultimately dropping a 62-58 decision. (Yes, we’re instilling false hope. Enjoy!)

The media outlets are still making a big deal of the game. KSNT shared Bruce Weber’s comments. The Star’s Jesse Newell picks K-State to cover the spread (respect!) but lose 72-57 (disresp—! Nope. We can’t go there.) Oh. The students are back and will be in the barn. Yay for that.

Given the struggles of this and last year’s K-State team, fans have predictably become restless with Coach Weber, prompting athletic director Gene Taylor to give the infamous word-of-confidence interview. Of course, fans are quick to parse words, and when the AD says it is his “intention” to retain the coach, perhaps some unintended waffling gets applied to the statement. In recapping the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon said that Weber “smells like toast.” In all likelihood, a definitive up or down vote won’t come until the end of the season.

Football

We made our own football news, as Drew Schneider introduced mountainous defensive tackle transfer Timmy Horne, who brings his 6-5, 320-pound stature to K-State for his final season of eligibility.

Golf

Tim Tillmanns finished third, and Will Hopkins carded a sixth-place finish at the Sharkey Collegiate in Statesboro, Georgia. The women’s team, meanwhile, climbed from 10th place to 5th before darkness ended play in the second round of the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas yesterday. Play resumed this morning.

Baseball

Pitcher Jordan Wicks continues to rake in preseason accolades, as he was named to the 2021 Baseball America Preseason All-America Second Team on Monday.

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