Well, it’s time. Time to see if the return to Bramlage, and the return to winning, can translate to winning games not in Manhattan.
Your Kansas State Wildcats started the season strong. But since those two wins in Texas in the first week of January, the TangCats have dropped five-straight away from Bramlage Colisuem. They’ve lost by giving the ball away, not rebounding enough, not playing good enough defense, and the last couple by just not giving enough effort.
They fixed all those things this week at home. The Cats had their lowest turnover game all season earlier this week. They played great defense two games in a row. They rebounded, and gave great effort. K-State playing the way they did these past two games (and in most of their games at home) is a very good team and one that will win a lot of ballgames.
So the challenge today: can they take all the things they worked on at home this past week, and apply them on the road in Stillwater. The Oklahoma State Cowboys are a good, tough, long team, and at 16-12, 7-8, are still sitting on the right side of the bubble. But in a very weird way, they look somewhat like K-State just last season. They struggled to start the Big 12 slate, then went on a heater winning six of seven Big 12 games, and seven of eight overall to finish January and start February. But since a surprising 64-56 win over Iowa State in Ames, the Pokes have dropped three straight, and could be poised for more with two ranked teams coming to Stillwater then a trip to Lubbock to close things out.
Of course, for the Wildcats, therein lies the problem. This game is in Stillwater. And despite the Cowboys on a losing streak, the last two of those losses have come on the road. And much like K-State, and most teams in the Big 12 this season, they play much better at home, and opponents have had a tough time on the road.
Will the return home for the Cowboys provide a boost, like it did for K-State this past week? Or can the Wildcats finally shake their road woes and pick up a much-needed win away from Bramlage?
Hopefully for us, it’s the latter.
Today’s matchup is scheduled for a 1:05pm CT tip from Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater and will be aired on ESPNU with Drew Carter (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 85/200 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!