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Slate: Basketball kicks off Big 12 conference play tonight

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Plus bowl games and other (non-K-State) football news

NCAA Basketball: Southern Mississippi at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Slate opens with the sad news that Purdue super-fan Tyler Trent, who had been battling the rare bone cancer osteosarcoma at the Purdue Cancer Center, passed away yesterday. He was 20 years old. The staff at Bring on the Cats extends their deepest sympathies and condolences to the Trent family and to Purdue nation. Rest in peace, Tyler.

Basketball

Your Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team (10-2) will kick off 2019 with their Big 12 opener tonight against the Texas Longhorns (8-4). These two teams met in Manhattan for the conference opener just two seasons ago, with the Wildcats claiming a 65-62 victory on December 30th, 2016 behind Dean Wade’s 18 points and Kamau Stokes’ 15 points and 6 assists. Stokes will need another game like that to keep the Wildcats in contention, but he’s finally reached the mark that fellow seniors Wade and Barry Brown have already accomplished: reaching the 1,000-point mark for a career, creating the first senior trio to do so at K-State.

Dean Wade may be out, but that hasn’t stopped NBA draft analysts from checking out the Wildcat senior. CBB Today’s Ben Bornstein profiled Wade for the publication’s “Sleeper Series” as a sleeper pick for the 2019 NBA draft.

The Wildcat women are also in action tonight, as the MittieCats head north to open Big 12 play on the road (again) at Iowa State (again). The Wildcats have opened on the road five times in the last seven years, and will open with Iowa State for the third time in five years.

Football

There were bowl games aplenty on New Years Day. A brief rundown of the non-Big 12 games:

The New Years finale was the Sugar Bowl, and a 28-21 victory by the Texas Longhorns over the Georgia Bulldogs. Texas went up big early, and held a 20-7 advantage at halftime. But the Bulldogs held on and made a game of it late, scoring 14 points in the final quarter but it just wasn’t enough. And now, according to Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, “[Texas is] Back!”.