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Sunflower Mehdown

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Kansas State plays archrival Kansas in a race to the Big 12 cellar.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Kansas State hosts Kansas today for the 116th edition of the Sunflower Showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 AM, and the game can be seen on FSN. As always, game details are in the HOW TO WATCH post, courtesy of AMS.

This is one of college football’s oldest rivalries, and also one of its least storied. The two teams have only rarely been ascendant at the same time, but there are several instances of the Wildcats and the Jayhawks playing for the dubious honor of being the worst team in the state/conference. This is one of those years.

TB kicked the tires on Kansas and—surprise!—picked the Wildcats in a narrow win. Even the statistics can’t quite fathom Kansas State losing this game. But unlike in years past, the outcome of the contest is nowhere near certain. Duke Shelley has been arrested, the special teams unit is struggling, and we still don’t know who will start at quarterback. There’s a small possibility that neither Skylar Thompson nor Alex Delton will take the field.

For Kansas, the stakes are a little bit different. Head coach David Beaty has been fired, and while he’ll still be on the sidelines for this game, the fans are mostly happy to see him go, although not yet confident enough to pick a Kansas win here.

For both teams, the real impact of the game may be in the off-season, when in-state bragging rights could turn into in-state recruiting wins.

Whatever. Just beat KU.

Basketball

Ah, finally. The sport we actually care about is now officially under way. Kansas State launched its 2018-19 campaign with a 56-41 victory over Kennesaw State, in a slow game that was a bit too close for comfort.

Defense was the Wildcats’ strong point in this game as they held the Owls to 41 points, including just 14 in the second half. The 41 points scored by Kennesaw State were the fewest allowed by Kansas State since giving up just 38 points to Northern Iowa back in 1979.

Barry Brown, Jr. and Dean Wade both had 15 points on the night, while Makol Mawien had a 6-of-9 shooting night and scored 13 points. But for all that, the offense was mostly sluggish, relying on fast break points off turnovers and transition buckets. The Wildcats were not great from the free throw line or from beyond the arc.

Up next, the Wildcats will play Denver at 8 PM on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

That tip-off will follow the women’s team playing in the first game of the Wildcats’ 51st season. They will take on Omaha at 5:30 PM. Kansas State has won 17 of its last 19 season openers.