It’s been a long, weird year. And not just 2020 or 2021 (so far), but the year since the last time these two teams met in Allen Fieldhouse.
You know how that game ended. The world knows how that game ended.
The follow up game in Manhattan was marked by a forced show of sportsmanship and yet another KU victory. That K-State team was not good, and that KU team one of Bill Self’s best.
Fast-foward a year, and K-State is possible worse...but so is KU. The Jawhawks are off to their worst start to conference play since Roy Williams was still on the sideline in Lawrence. This would normally be a year that had Wildcat fans salivating, dreaming of the potential. But K-State is just so bad that it looks like it won’t matter.
Of course, we do have historical context for hope. 15 years ago, a K-State coach on the hot seat managed to surprise Bill Self’s crew and pick up an improbable win to break several losing streaks to the Jayhawks (that coach was still fired at the end of the season). Then in 2013, a TCU team that finished the season at 2-16 in Big 12 play (which is where this K-State team feels to be headed) managed to beat KU in Ft. Worth, giving KU one of just four conference losses that season (and helping K-State earn a share of the Big 12 title in the process).
K-State is having a historically terrible season by any standard. KU is having a terrible season by their standards. But KU is still an 18-point favorite tonight, and it would be no surprise to see the Jayhawks snap out of their current funk with the Wildcats in town.
But strange things have happened.
We’ve got a 7:01pm CT start at Allen Fieldhouse that can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Ted Emrich (play-by-play) and Lance Blanks (analyst) on the call for a what is likely to sound like a pretty pro-KU broadcast.
If you haven’t subscribed to ESPN+ (and you can do so right here) or just don’t want to, 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 383.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (5-13)
G: #21 Nijel Pack
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #2 Selton Miguel
F: #1 Kaosi Ezeagu
F: #21 Davion Bradford
Kansas Jayhawks (11-6)
G: #0 Marcus Garrett
G: #2 Christian Braun
G: #30 Ochai Agbaji
F: #10 Jalen Wilson
F: #33 David McCormack