Your Kansas State Wildcats still aren’t playing great basketball, but they are finding ways to win anyway, with the latest a 70-66 triumph in their first meeting this season with Oklahoma State. The Cats improved to 14-4, and a surprising 4-1 in Big 12 play. 4-1 is good enough for a tie for first place in the Big 12, with the one team that has beaten the Cats in 2024 — Texas Tech.
But conference standings mean very little in January, and the Wildcats need to make sure their focus is fully on tonight’s opponent, lest they fall into the group of 2-loss teams here in the early going. Iowa State is one of those 2-loss teams, currently sitting at 14-4 and 3-2 in Big 12 play. But none of those losses have come in Ames, including a major upset of then-#2 Houston back on January 9th. And the Clones have had just two games in Big 12 play, so expect a exceptionally boisterous tonight trying to keep the Hilton Magic alive.
K-State doesn’t need to be exceptionally great to win this game tonight. But they must limit mistakes, avoid sloppy turnovers, and get timely shooting. This team has shown it won’t buckle under pressure late in games, but it would be great if they didn’t dig themselves a huge hole they need to crawl out of before that late-game situation. Those sloppy turnovers were the TangCats biggest issue on Saturday against the Pokes, and Iowa State is going to be much more opportunistic at home.
This is a game K-State can win, but it’s going to be a tough one. The Cats can’t keep making stupid mistakes if they want to win on the road in Big 12 play.
Tonight’s matchup is scheduled for a 8:05pm CT tip at Hilton Coliseum in Ames and will be aired on ESPN2 (WatchESPN) 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 392 with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action over there.