Well it’s finally here. We’ve reached the end of the regular season (well, at least the originally scheduled one).
In some ways, the Wildcats have actually done better than expected. They have some good wins, and spent a good chunk of time in discussions for the NCAA Tournament. After the disaster of the last two years, that was an improvement. Nijel Pack is one of the best guards in the conference, and the Wildcats improved their outside shooting overall, which is something fans were clamoring for.
But they’ve also done worse in many ways. Players that were expected to takes forward, like any of the post players, have not done so. And really have even taken steps back after showing promise last year. The Cats also struggled to put away teams, even after holding large leads, like against TCU and KU back in January. And of course, the Wildcats are now in position where they are just hoping to get an NIT berth to get seniors Mike McGuirl and Mark Smith a few more games.
And yes, today’s game is Senior Day. Today, hopefully the Cats can honor 5th-year senior Mike McGuirl’s commitment to the program with a win. Hopefully they can honor Mark Smith’s emergence as a force after transferring in with a win. Hopefully they can do something positive after losing their last four.
There are also Big 12 Tournament implications today. Winner gets to sit out on Wednesday and play the 2-seed on Thursday, while the loser must play West Virginia in the 8/9 game on Wednesday, with that winner going on to face the 1-seed on Thursday.
Today’s game from Bramlage tips at 3:01pm CST and can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Chuckie Kempf (play-by-play) and Missy Heidrick (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 on XM channel 380 and online on the The Varsity Network app and at K-StateSports.com.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (14-15, 6-11 Big 12)
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #3 Selton Miguel
G: #13 Mark Smith
G: #24 Nijel Pack
F: #25 Ishmael Massoud
Oklahoma Sooners (16-14, 6-11 Big 12)
G: #0 Jordan Goldwire
G: #2 Umoja Gibson
F: #34 Jacob Groves
F: #1 Jalen Hill
F: #35 Tanner Groves