Jon Morse gave you the game preview, but honestly: Who predicted that? The K-State OU game thread was hopping to such a degree, you might have thought the guys were bouncing around the oblate spheroid.
Luke Thompson and Eric Rubottom brought us a conversation with TCU Sports Information Director Steven Schoon, ahead of this weekend’s match-up in Bramlage, in Bring on the PodCats. The cover picture on the post shows TCU post Vladimir Brodziansky flashing the Horned Frogs’ signature hand signal. After the spate of close losses they’ve suffered to start league play, the gesture could also suggest they feel snake-bit.
We can stop the post-KU postmortems and hand-wringing for the time being. K-State’s men proved last night that, despite the deflating 1-point loss in Lawrence, they have no intention of fading into obscurity. They dominated No. 4 Oklahoma nearly from tip to final buzzer in an enormous 87-69 upset.
Behind a solid game plan and stellar offensive and defensive efforts of Barry Brown and others, Kansas State picked up a much-needed signature win over the Sooners. This one was no squeaker, either. K-State led for all but about of minute of playing time and pulled steadily away late.
The win checked a lot of boxes for the ‘Cats as they try to build a tournament-worthy resume. Obviously, it is a win against a team currently (over)rated in the top-5. But even when the rankings shake out, it is a win against a quality, power-five opponent. Even after the loss, OU is 7th in RPI, with the 8th toughest schedule in the nation.
The win also got national attention. In case you missed it during last night’s telecast (meaning you should get your hearing tested), Oklahoma’s Trae Young has been crowned the second coming of Steph Curry. His every move shows up on highlight reels across the media spectrum. K-State forced him into the worst game of his career, and got due credit from the sports networks. Young scored 20 points, but shot 8-21 from the floor to get there. More notable: the nation’s scoring and assists leader turned the ball over 12 times—a new conference record for a single game—while distributing only six assists. His 12 turnovers are also the most by any major-conference player since 1999, according to ESPN.
K-State, meanwhile, got solid contributions from Brown (24 points, five assists, three steals), Dean Wade (21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists), Cartier Diarra (16 points, five assists, two steals) and Xavier Sneed (13 points, five rebounds, two steals).
The most encouraging aspect might be the way the Wildcats stifled the nation’s highest scoring offense. OU entered the contest averaging 93.6 points per contest, to lead the nation. After scoring only 69 against the ‘Cats, the Sooners fell to second in this category at 92.2, behind Duke (92.7). Defense has been the one constant for Bruce Weber teams, but this year’s squad has struggled to get stops at times and ranks only 92nd in defensive efficiency. Though they poured in 87 points on Tuesday, defense will key more victories than big scoring output.
Now, to back it up. K-State has, in the past, shown a tendency to let down after big wins. With another tough test upcoming against TCU, the guys will need to put the celebration aside and focus on the Horned Frogs’ more balanced, but also high-scoring, attack.
Here is just a taste of the recaps and commentary from far and wide:
- From our own, incomparable Eric Rubottom: K-State Men’s Basketball Recap: K-State 87, Oklahoma 69
- From Kellis Robinett at the Wichita Eagle: Kansas State beats No. 4 Oklahoma 87-69, makes Trae Young look human and, as a bonus: How Kansas State played at ‘magic level’ in 87-69 victory over Oklahoma
- From Blair Kerkhoff at the KC Star: K-State corrals Trae Young, college basketball’s shooting star
- From Tim Bisel at the Topeka Capital-Journal: Barry Brown, K-State rout Trae Young, No. 4 Oklahoma
- From Greg Woods at the Mercury: Brown provides first-half spark as K-State knocks off No. 4 Oklahoma
- From the AD Website: All-Around Effort Carries K-State Past No. 4/6 Oklahoma, 87-69 and from Corbin McGuire: SE: K-State Knocks Off No. 4 Oklahoma, 87-69, with Strong Defense, Efficient Offense
- From Corey Stavenhagen at the Tulsa World: OU basketball: Additional thoughts from OU’s 87-69 loss to Kansas State
- From John McKelvey at the Norman Transcript: Kansas State dazzles in second half, stuns Trae Young and the No. 4 Sooners
- From Rob Dauster at NBC Sports: Trae Young’s turnover-plagued night costs No. 4 Oklahoma at Kansas State
Because men’s and women’s double-headers never happen, for some reason, the good folks from Norman will be headed back north tonight to contest Jeff Mittie’s K-State women at 7:00 in Bramlage. Jon Morse previews and tells you where to witness the impending Sooner Sweep.
If you can spare the time on February 6th at 7:00 p.m., you might want to consider making your way to Bramlage Coliseum to hear NBA legend, author and renaissance man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar provide the keynote address for the Black Student Union’s Black History Month Celebration.