For the first time in nearly four years, your Kansas State Wildcats (16-2, 5-1) knocked off the mythical avians from down the river earlier this week to regain their spot at the top of the Big 12.
Bramlage was electric all night as the Octagon of Doom mystique returned to full force for the first time since at least that February night in 2019. It truly was a magical evening on Tuesday.
Now the question is, without that team in town, can that same energy be maintained? In the past decade, the answer would’ve been “no”. Student showed up for that blue team and not really for anyone else. But as they showed when Oklahoma State was in town, this is a new year, a new age, and the excitement for Kansas State basketball has returned to Bramlage Coliseum.
And it will be extra important today for the students to show up and bring the energy, because the last-place team in the Big 12 is in town today still looking for their first win of 2023. Texas Tech enters today at 10-8 overall, and 0-6 in conference play and hasn’t won a game since December 27th. They’ve dealt with some injuries this season, which hasn’t helped things, but they are not scoring well at all and the defense is not where it’s been the past several years.
But that doesn’t mean this will be an easy victory for K-State. Their average margin of defeat in Big 12 play, outside of the one blow-out loss in Ames last week, is just five points (and even that blowout only pushes that average to ~10). Just last weekend they went on the road and fell just a few points short of an upset win over Texas in Austin.
If K-State, both the team and the fans, can put aside the emotions from the win on Tuesday, and avoid looking ahead to next Tuesday’s big clash with Iowa State, this game should look more like Tech’s foray into Iowa. But that’s going to be a tough challenge, and expect this one to be closer than it really needs to be.
Today’s matchup is scheduled for a 1:05pm CT tip from Bramlage and will be aired on ESPN2 with Chuckie Kempf (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 134 or 202 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!