Kansas State plays Kansas today in the first matchup of this season’s Sunflower Showdown. The game tips off at 11 AM on ESPN (and associated streaming services), and Wyatt Thompson will have the radio play-by-play on the K-State Sports Network.
This is the 287th meeting of the two teams, in one of college basketball’s oldest rivalries. Although Kansas fans have often suggested that Kansas State is not a real rival, things have changed in the last few years, and now even Bill Self admits the Wildcats are Kansas’s biggest rivals.
Unfortunately, the rivalry has been pretty lopsided in recent years. The Purple Faithful need little reminding that our cousins downriver have dominated this series, especially in Lawrence. The Jayhawks lead 88-35 at home, and Bruce Weber’s squad has never won this game at Allen Fieldhouse.
That’s not to say that Kansas has always dominated every single game, however. Last year, the Jayhawks barely escaped the Wildcats 90-88 on a buzzer beater by Svi Mykhailiuk, a layup that never should have been, as replays later showed that Mykhailiuk was traveling (Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury). This year, the revenge-minded Wildcats may be using the controversial no-call as motivation (Tim Bisel, Topeka Capital-Journal).
Changing the tide against Kansas may depend on which Kansas State team shows up today. Big games from Barry Brown, Jr., who had a career game against Oklahoma State, and Dean Wade, who led Kansas State in scoring in last season’s game in Lawrence, would go a long way towards victory today (Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star).
Predictions? Well, Newell predictably picks Kansas to win, but so does Kellis Robinett, and well, fingers crossed they’re both wrong.
Meanwhile, the women’s team, coming off an unexpected win over Iowa State, will host #20/22 Oklahoma State at Bramlage today. The game is set for 1 PM, and can be seen on FSN.
The matchup with the Cowgirls will be the fifth time in six games that the Wildcats face off against a ranked opponent. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 35-33 with a huge 19-9 advantage at home. Kansas State has also taken four of the last six against Oklahoma State.
Look for Peyton Williams and Kayla Goth to have big games. They led the scoring against Iowa State, with Goth adding seven assists and Williams getting her fourth double-double of the season.
Let’s go, Wildcats! Make it a weekend to remember!