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Kansas State vs Oklahoma: One more time at Bramlage for this season

The Wildcats and Sooners square off on Senior Night in Manhattan as K-State will try to avoid a sweep by OU.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 25 Kansas State at Oklahoma State Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Somehow it’s here. We’ve been having so much fun, seriously, that the end of the regular season has snuck up on us. Crazy what happens when you’re treated to fun, winning basketball again.

In just his first season in Manhattan, returning just two players and no staff, Jerome Tang has created a winning team at Kansas State. And not just winning, but he’s made basketball fun again for Wildcat fans. Sure, there have been tear-our-hair out moments, but aside from a couple face-plants, even in the few losses, K-State has played competitive, exciting basketball.

Of course, Jerome Tang gets the lion share of the credit, but the other big share goes to the group of seniors that will be honored tonight in Bramlage. That group is headlined by Markquis Nowell, the diminutive point guard that has been electric nearly all season and has raced away with several single-season marks on the K-State record book. One of the two holdovers from the end of Bruce Weber’s tenure, the second-year transfer has been the catalyst for his team on and off the court. Sure, his stats will be missed, but his leadership will be hard to replace next year.

He’s joined by fellow seniors Nate Awbrey, Tykei Greene, Abayomi Iyiola, Keyontae Johnson, and Desi Sills. While this is the last season of eligibility for Nowell and walk-on Nate Awbrey, Green, Iyiola, Johnson, and Sills all still have a COVID year available if they choose to use it, and Johnson would easily have two years remaining as his “junior” season was all of one ceremonial start that even the soulless NCAA would easily waive. But all will be honored tonight as seniors, and those that need to will make decisions on returning once the season is over.

Nowell and Johnson, should he not return (which he shouldn’t when the NBA is calling), leave K-State as one of the most dynamic duos at K-State, firmly etching their place among the pantheon of greats at Kansas State University. And that’s some pretty hallowed ground.

Of course, there is an opponent for tonight’s game. The Sooners come in to tonight at a game below .500 overall and looking for a way to get to and above that mark to have any hope of a postseason bid. Of course you may remember what happened just two weeks ago in Norman, when OU blasted a tired Wildcats squad 79-65. Now the tables are turned, and the Sooners are on the second game of a two-game road swing, but they knocked off a struggling Iowa State squad in Ames on Saturday to end a two-game skid. They would love to repeat both feats in Manhattan tonight, but hopefully the TangCats have retribution on their minds tonight.

No matter what, the Wildcats, both the team and fans, need to rally together one more time at home and send the seniors out with a bang. They deserve nothing less for what they’ve give us this season.

Tonight’s matchup is scheduled for a 7:01pm CT tip from Bramlage and will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Pete Sousa (play-by-play) and Bryndon Manzer (analyst) on the call. You’ll also be able to hear the game online at (and via the Varsity Network app), plus parts of the K-State Sports Radio Network and on SiriusXM 81 with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action over there.

Go Cats!

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!