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Lavender Power takes on TCU

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Let’s hope the throwback uniforms lead to throwback success.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Christian Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Men’s Basketball

In men’s basketball, Kansas State takes on #24/25 TCU this afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum. The game tips off at 3 PM, and can be seen on ESPNU or streamed on WatchESPN.

This is the second of a two-game homestand for the Wildcats, and also the second of two consecutive games against a ranked opponent. Kansas State had no trouble with #4 Oklahoma in its last game, so let’s hope for a similar outcome against our purple cousins from Ft. Worth.

Unless you’ve been living under a sizable rock, you know that Kansas State will be wearing throwback two-tone lavender uniforms for this game. If you’re among the more veteran purple faithful, you’ll recognize the uniforms from the golden years of Kansas State basketball. The uniforms made their debut under legendary head coach Jack Hartman way back in 1973, and players like Lon Kruger were excited to be trying something new.

The team won a lot of games in the new uniforms too. In the lavender uniform era, Kansas State went 186-81 and Rolando Blackman famously made the cover of Sports Illustrated in lavender.

Barry Brown, Jr. is pretty excited about the throwback uniforms, but not all his teammates share his enthusiasm. Dean Wade, decidedly lukewarm on the idea, noted that lavender was “not really in [his] color wheel.”

While they disagree on the uniform, Brown and Wade are otherwise in perfect sync. In the absence of Kamau Stokes, the two juniors have stepped in to leadership roles on the team, and each has contributed significantly to the Wildcats’ performance. Kansas State will need both players to continue that run against TCU.

Kansas State’s win over Oklahoma was hardly the program’s first win over a Top 10 team under Bruce Weber. Indeed, in six seasons with Weber as head coach, the Wildcats have nine wins over teams ranked in the top 10. Unfortunately, the wins have never led to any sustained momentum. Last year, Kansas State beat three top 10 teams, including an Oklahoma team that ultimately made the Final Four, but barely made the tournament.

The importance of beating TCU today, to validate the win over Oklahoma, cannot be overstated. As Barry Brown put it:

It would be great to back up the OU win with any win. To back up any win with another win in the Big 12 is tough. There’s good competition every night. That would be big time for us.

Women’s Basketball

Kansas State is on the road today at #4 Baylor, playing in the 1,500th game in school history. Tipoff is scheduled for 6PM and that game will be on FOXSports Southwest (and other FSN affliates).

The Wildcats are coming off a narrow 76-71 loss to Oklahoma. Peyton Williams was the star of that game, scoring 23 points and eight rebounds. Kayla Goth had her third double-double of the season with 11 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds. Rachel Ranke had a sixth consecutive double figures game, with 13 points and four rebounds.

Track

On the first day of competition at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational in Iowa City, Kansas State had a banner day, with several athletes setting new personal best marks, a couple of event wins, and even two meet records. The women’s team is currently in third place, while the men are in sixth place.

Mitch Dixon won the weight throw event with a mark of 21.31m, which is not only a personal best score for Dixon, but also a new meet record. Cementing Kansas State’s status as #HighJumpU, Nina Schultz and Rhizlane Siba took the two top spots in the competition. Schultz jumped 1.80m on her first attempt and tied the meet record. Siba managed the same height on her third attempt, good enough for second place.

On the track, Ethan Powell won the men’s 3000m race, clocking in at 8:29.67, a new personal best. In the 1000m race, Lukas Koch came in second with a time of 2:24.34, also a new personal best.

The event continues today in Iowa City. You can follow the action on Twitter with @KStateTFXC.