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Kansas State vs Kansas: Open Game Thread

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It’s time for the 296th playing of the Sunflower Showdown - Men’s Basketball Edition

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Come on now, be honest, did any reasonable fan expect K-State to win the last two games?

I mean, there’s always the hope that the Wildcats win, there is a belief that anything is possible. But When looking at the schedule after the 0-4 start, most were resigned to the distinct possibility that K-State would go 0-4 over this stretch, considering all four were against ranked opponents.

But the WeberCats have found something, enough to win their last two games. A convincing win over Texas Tech and a gritty win on the road at Texas have K-State back in discussion for a postseason berth, and have created a glimmer of hope for K-State fans that this season can get turned around.

But all that positivity is about to get put to the biggest test yet. The Jayhawks are in town, and this game is always brutally tough. Even really good K-State teams have succumbed to KU in Manhattan. However, some not as great teams have also managed to shock the Birds in recent years (like the year when Will Spradling put Joel Embiid on skates).

The biggest thing going for K-State today is that Bill Self might not be coaching to Jayhawks today. His father Bill Self , Sr., a legend in Oklahoma in his own right, passed away yesterday, and of course it would be not unexpected for the younger Self to want to spend time with his family. The BotC staff extends our condolences to the Self family. We may be rivals, but we are all human, and losing a family member is never easy.

So there is a glimmer of hope for the season, and a glimmer of hope for the game today. Can that glimmer grow into something brighter? Well, considering the history of this series, the answer is likely “not today”. A lot of things still need to go right today for the Wildcats, and that’s always a tough ask against KU.

It’s not impossible, but chances are slim that K-State makes it three straight.

Today’s game from Bramlage Coliseum, the 296th playing of the men’s basketball edition of the Sunflower Showdown, tips at 3:01pm CST and can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Ted Emrich (play-by-play) and Bryndon Manzer (analyst) on the call.

If you haven’t subscribed to ESPN+, 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 on the The Varsity Network app and at K-StateSports.com.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State Wildcats (10-7, 2-4 Big 12)

G: #1 Markquis Nowell
G: #3 Selton Miguel
G: #13 Mark Smith
G: #24 Nijel Pack
C: #25 Davion Bradford

Kansas Jayhawks (15-2, 4-1 Big 12)

G: #2 Christian Braun
G: #3 Dajuan Harris, Jr.
G: #30 Ochai Agbaji
F: #10 Jalen Wilson
F: #33 David McCormack

Go Cats!