Well, there’s no doubt it’s been a rough stretch for Kansas State. After the Wildcats opened Big 12 play at 6-0, they’ve dropped five of their next six conference games, four of those on the road.
That stretch started with today’s opponent, after Iowa State used a great rebounding effort to hang on for an 80-76 win in Ames nearly four weeks ago. The Cyclones gave themselves a big edge in second-chance points and points off turnovers, which gave them just enough of an edge to overcome K-State’s hot shooting from deep.
That’s been a theme during K-State’s recent woes. Either the offense can’t find rhythm due to turnovers and lack of effort rebounding, or the defense can’t get a stop on the other end. Or both. During K-State’s two wins during that stretch (including the win versus Florida to end January), the Wildcats were able to play solid defense while the offense was able to find contributors from around the floor. Of course it helps that those two wins came in the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum.
So will playing at home be enough? K-State has lost just one game at Bramlage this season, and that was to league-leading Texas on a night when they turned the ball over 19 times and still nearly pulled off the victory. The Wildcats have definitely played better at home. At the same time, the Cyclones have looked very much like K-State that way this season, losing their last overall five away from Ames. So this should be the perfect time for K-State to get back on track. Or for Iowa State to pick up an impressive road win.
Can the Wildcats return to life in Manhattan? If they don’t, it could be an ignominious end to what had otherwise been an incredible first season for Jerome Tang at K-State.
Today’s matchup is scheduled for a 1:05pm CT tip from Bramlage and will be aired on ESPN with Chuckie Kempf (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (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 158/199 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!