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Teeing up the Vols

Kansas State takes on Tennessee in the Big 12-SEC Challenge

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports


National Signing Day is just around the corner, and Gracey Terrill has been busy with behind-the-scenes profiles of Kansas State recruits. Yesterday, she had a chance to chat with offensive line recruits Ben Adler and Harrison Creed.

Men’s Basketball

The Big 12-SEC Challenge is underway, and in connection with that, Kansas State takes on Tennessee in Knoxville today. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 PM CST and the game will air on ESPN2.

The Wildcats are hoping to help establish the Big 12 as the premier basketball conference in the country. As Bruce Weber notes,

It’s a big weekend for our conference to solidify that we are a good league and, including us, that we are a good team. You have an opportunity, now take the challenge and make the most of it.

The Volunteers are 11-9 on the season and 4-4 in the SEC, coming off an impressive upset victory over #4 Kentucky. Tennessee leads the series 1-0, winning the teams’ first meeting 65-64 (also in Knoxville) back in 2014.

A win over Tennessee would be a definite resumé booster for the Wildcats, especially as Tennessee has played a tough schedule and rates highly in both RPI (47) and KenPom ratings (42).

The Wildcats are coming off a narrow loss to Iowa State where the team looked out of focus and tired after playing with such energy in wins over Oklahoma State and West Virginia. To stave off a tough challenge from Tennessee, Kansas State will need to renew and recharge.

A key to winning the game against Tennessee will be the play of Barry Brown. Through most of the non-conference schedule, Brown was the team’s most consistent performer. But balancing basketball against the academic demands of a difficult major (business finance) took a toll and Brown’s production fell off along with his mechanics. Since then, he’s put in real effort at becoming a better shooter and is now averaging a team-best 12.7 points.

Women’s Basketball

The women’s team has its own woes. The Wildcats are riding a two-game losing streak including a blowout loss to Baylor on Wednesday. They’ll look to stop the skid against Oklahoma State today in Bramlage Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 PM CST.

The Wildcats have already beaten Oklahoma State once this year. That victory was keyed by a stellar defensive effort where Kansas State held the Cowgirls to under 30 percent shooting and overwhelmed Oklahoma State in the paint.

Today’s game is the WBCA “Play 4Kay” game, and the Wildcats will wear pink uniforms in support. The first 4000 fans at the game will also receive pink T-shirts.

Track and Field

The Wildcats are in Albuquerque, New Mexico today for the New Mexico Team Invitational. In addition to host team New Mexico, the field also features fellow Big 12 team TCU as well as Washington State, Fresno State, Utah State, and the Air Force Academy.

Weight throwers Brady Grunder, Janeé Kassanavoid and Helene Ingvaldsen as well as 200m specialist Terrell Smith are competing for Kansas State and a possible berth in the NCAA Indoor Championships.