Tonight is a must-win game.
Sure, all games are must-win in some fashion, but for these Kansas State Wildcats, the season is teetering on the brink. With three straight losses to begin conference play, K-State’s chances of reaching postseason play are approaching the point of no return. The Wildcats need to win today to end the skid and get some positive momentum going.
But to do that, they’ve got to play a full 40 minutes of basketball. At best, we’ve gotten maybe 30-35 minutes, but really that’s about it. For most of the season, the WeberCats have need 5-10 minutes just to come alive at the beginning of the game, forcing them to come back from double-digit deficits against teams with a pulse to win, or at least make a game of it. The last two times out, it was the opposite, with the Cats starting out strong, building solid halftime leads, only to let those leads evaporate in the second half on the way to losses. It’s a mess, and answers are few.
But maybe tonight is when it clicks. Or at least one of those dry spells doesn’t hurt enough to turn a win into a loss. TCU isn’t a world beater. They have a really shiny 10-2 record, but like K-State, the meat of those wins have come against significantly inferior competition. And the Horned Frogs are coming off a pretty major break in action. First it was others, then COVID issues with their own program that caused them to miss about three weeks of action spanning from before Christmas to after New Year’s Day. The finally got back to action last weekend, with a visit from Baylor, a game they actually led at halftime before succumbing to the Bears.
The Cats are Frogs are currently tied for last place. Winner stays alone at 9th, loser falls to 10th all by themselves. Let’s hope it’s the home purples that pulls out the victory.
This evening’s game from the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman tips at 8:05pm CT and can be seen on ESPNU with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call. The game should also be available streaming via WatchESPN, if you already have the correct TV subscription.
If you don’t get ESPNU, 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 on XM channel 375 and online on the The Varsity Network app and at K-StateSports.com.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (8-6, 0-3 Big 12)
G: #1 Markquis Nowell
G: #3 Selton Miguel
G: #13 Mark Smith
G: #24 Nijel Pack
F: #25 Ismael [Ish] Massoud
TCU Horned Frogs (10-2, 0-1 Big 12)
G: #1 Mike Miles, Jr.
G: #10 Damion Baugh
F: #2 Emanuel Miller
F: #5 Charles O’Bannon
C: #4 Eddie Lampkin