It was, perhaps, the most evenly-matched contest K-State has been involved in this season. Tied at the half, tied on a Desmond Bane three at the buzzer, and won when Barry Brown laid in a basket with 11 seconds left, the Wildcats survived a thrilling test against the TCU Horned Frogs to move on to the Big 12 Tournament semifinals tonight.
The win yesterday was huge, because it almost certainly ensured that K-State will not only be playing meaningful basketball after this weekend but also that they won’t be doing so until Thursday. Suddenly, it’s Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and Baylor sweating out Selection Sunday, and hardly anyone has K-State destined for Dayton.
In other words, yesterday was a good day. Today? Maybe even better, if the evil empire down the river can be vanquished with a well-placed torpedo.
We’ve got three different recaps from the McClatchy clan. At the Star, Kellis Robinett offers the usual K-State perspective. At the Star’s sister paper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, TCU beat writer Stefan Stevenson checks in with the opposition angle. And strangely there’s a third recap, also at the Star-Telegram and also with a TCU bend, from the Star’s Sam McDowell.
Preview material for tonight:
Tom Keegan at the Lawrence Journal-World notes that Kansas survived a day without Udoka Azubuike, but it won’t be so easy surviving two in a row.
Blair Kerkhoff at the Star writes about Malik Newman and Makol Mawien and how their efforts set up Sunflower Showdown 2018 Mark III.
Speaking of Mawien, Kellis Robinett reports that when he reaches double figures K-State is unbeaten.
Track and Field
K-State’s not going to win a national championship this weekend at the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Tex. But Terrell Smith will be aiming for the men’s 200m title, while the K-State women’s “team” might post a respectable score solely due to the efforts of Nina Schulz, who will compete in both the long jump and the heptathlon.
Schulz will begin her long jump journey at 7:10pm tonight, while Smith will run in the 200m semifinals at 7:35pm. Should Smith move on to the final, that will take place at 5:50pm tomorrow. Schulz, the best heptathlete in the nation this season, will compete in that event throughout both days, closing with the 4000m at 4pm tomorrow.
Both days of the event will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
The BatCats (8-4) take the field at 3pm for the first of a three game set against the Mercer Bears (11-3). Righty Kasey Ford (2-0, 5.39) should start today for K-State, while southpaw Christian Vann (2-0, 1.56) is set to go for the visitors from Georgia. The series continues at 2pm tomorrow and noon Sunday; all three games will be on ESPN3 with Brian Smoller on play-by-play and Craig Wilson (today) or Mike Clark (weekend) as analysts.
K-State’s mildly surprising racqueteers — ranked 31st in the nation by ITA — will play two in Dallas this weekend. It’ll be the first time in a couple of weeks for the Cats to face unranked competition, and it’s the final weekend of action before Big 12 play begins on Tuesday (although there are a couple of non-conference matches remaining). Today at 4pm, the Wildcats (8-2) visit SMU (6-6); tomorrow at 9:30 they’ll take on Georgia State. Both matches will take place at the SMU Tennis Complex.