What a ride this has been so far. At 15-1 overall, and 4-0 in the Big 12, your Kansas State Wildcats are off to their best start in over 60 years. Hall-of-Famer Tex Winter was leading the Wildcats the last time they had just one loss through 16 games.
To be fair, the last time K-State opened Big 12 play at 4-0 was much more recently, when Michael Beasley helped lead the Cats off to a 5-0 start in January 2008. But for that does feel like a lifetime ago, back in year one of Frank Martin’s tenure, and we’ve even had a whole decade of Bruceketball since then.
Regardless, this was not something any of us could have expected headed into this season. Jerome Tang has done a masterful job of putting together a competitive roster and coaching them through some very tough games. They’ve won grinders like against WVU and Oklahoma State. They’ve won shootouts like against Texas and Baylor. Regardless of how it’s happened, these Wildcats have found ways to win. And even thrown in some style on top of it. Basketball certainly is fun again.
But it’s not like the season is anywhere close to over, and there are still 12 games left in regular season Big 12 play. And no game in this conference is easy. Today, the Cats are back on the road to Texas, this time in Fort Worth to face the Horned Frogs.
TCU is an interesting team. They had a very bad home loss to Northwestern State early in the season, but then ran off 11-straight, including wins over ranked teams away from Fort Worth. But they’ve since dropped two-straight, falling to Iowa State a week ago on a last-second basket by the Cyclones, and then giving up an 18-point lead in Austin to fall 79-75 to the Longhorns on Wednesday.
They’ve got some dudes, and plenty of names you’ll remember like Mike Miles Jr., who had some epic battles with Nijel Pack the last couple years, and Eddie Lampkin Jr., who caused problems for the Cats in the paint last year. But while Jaime Dixon may have a lot of guys we recognize, this will be their first time seeing the Wildcats under Jerome Tang.
Hopefully for the Wildcats, the final looks more like TCU’s game against Texas than it does against Tang’s former team, who the Horned Frogs beat 88-87 a couple weeks ago in Waco.
This afternoon’s matchup is scheduled for a 1:05pm CT tip at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth and will be aired on ESPN2 with Ted Emrich (play-by-play) and King McClure (analyst) on the call. You’ll also be able to hear the game online at K-StateSports.com (and via the Varsity Network app), plus parts of the K-State Sports Radio Network and on SiriusXM 385 with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action over there.
Hey, are you on Discord? We are now, too! Feel free to join us! (Make sure you click the reaction button on the rules notice though, or you won’t see anything.) We’ll have a game thread there as well!