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SLATE: Hey, it’s fortsphere! Or ballhitty. Or whatever we’re calling baseball.

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Track finishes season at Ahearn, and pre-ISU funsies.

Get out the brooms.
Off to California.
JT VanGilder

Welcome to the last Slate before the most important basketball game of the year so far. Tomorrow, K-State hosts Iowa State in a game which is brimming with significance, as a loss brings the Wildcats right back into the thick of the title race while a win would make any other team’s chances of catching the good guys a wall which may well be too tall to scale.

At the Capital-Journal, Arne Green reports that it’s the team’s veteran leadership, and the obstacles they had to navigate earlier in the season, which is making all the difference. Over at the Eagle, Kellis Robinett says Bruce Weber thinks Cartier Diarra will manage to get back on the court before the end of the regular season, or during the Big 12 Tournament at the outside.

Corbin McGuire points to the Cats’ offensive improvement as the sparkplug for the current conference winning streak in today’s Sports Extra.

Freebies at GPC today include D. Scott Fritchen reliving the key moments of the season thus far, and Riley Gates digesting the content of Weber’s press conference yesterday.

Noah Rohlfing of the Iowa State Daily would like to remind us that tomorrow’s game isn’t just important for K-State.

At the Augusta (Ga.) Free Press, Seth Migginson drops his latest bracket, which has the Cats headed to the East Regional for a date with New Mexico State... as a four seed. That’s swell, although he still has Kansas as a three, so we may question his judgment.

TFXC

The track team hits the cinders tomorrow morning at Ahearn for the Steve Miller Open. It’s the final regular season event before the conference championships in Lubbock next weekend and the NCAA meet in Birmingham two weeks later. This event is mostly just a showcase which will allow the SID office to report a bunch of wins and a last chance for Wildcat athletes to set qualifying marks, as the competition consists entirely of D-II and NAIA schools (with a few scattered post-graduate competitors thrown in as well).

The cross-country teams earned some hardware Thursday, with both the men and women being honored with USTFCCCA Fall Semester All-Academic recognition. It’s the 12th year in a row the women have earned the honor, and the fifth for the men.

Somethingball

Fortsphere — you know, that spr0tsball game K-State plays in the spring — gets underway at 4:00pm CT as the Wildcats visit Cal State-Northridge for the first of a four-game weekend set. Games two and three will be 3:00pm starts on Saturday and Sunday, while game four will be at 4:00pm on Monday. Today’s game and Monday’s game will have video streams on the Big West Network, while all four games will have audio streams on the home network and live stats provided by CSUN.

Yesterday’s Sports Extra previewed the start of the Pete Hughes Era.