The reality of the situation sits there, weighing heavily on everyone who realizes it.
With a victory tonight in Lawrence, K-State would clinch — at worst — a tie with the Kansas Jayhawks. With three games remaining, a win tonight would leave K-State only needing a win, any win, to finally put an end to KU’s stranglehold on the Big 12 conference title. A win tonight, and what Kansas does no longer matters, although a KU loss would also be a fatal blow. A win tonight, and the Wildcat path to at least a share of the title, if not the outright possession of same, opens wide and clear.
Of course, it’s getting that win which is going to be the problem.
K-State’s woes at Allen Fieldhouse over the past 25 years are well-documented. The last time the Cats won in Lawrence, SB Nation didn’t even exist yet. Nobody had ever seen an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl, iCarly, or Mad Men; That 70s Show and The West Wing were still on the air. The tens digit on your benevolent despot’s odometer has flipped twice.
The stakes are absurdly high, and if you needed any evidence you can merely look at the broadcast information for tonight’s contest: flagship ESPN. Bob Wischusen, Jay Bilas, and Holly Rowe. The game is even the Westwood One radio game of the night.
In other words, K-State, you have everyone’s attention. Please do something with it.
At the Star, in his preview of tonight’s game, Jesse Newell asks a question with an answer even he acknowledges is obvious: why don’t the computers love K-State?
CBB Today’s Matt Zemek says KU has more important things to worry about than The Streak, and he’s probably right.
According to Corbin McGuire in today’s Sports Extra, K-State is just focused on playing their game on their terms tonight.
The BatCats had a chance to come home from a season-opening West Coast swing with a .500 record, and that would have been cause for celebration. Heading into the bottom of the sixth, it looked they might very well do that, carrying a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately, San Diego State (5-2) exploded all over Will Brennan and Kasey Ford in that fateful inning, plating eight runs. K-State got three of them back before it was all over, but the damage was done in a 10-7 loss which sent the Cats home at 3-5. Still, there have been worse opening weeks for K-State in recent years, so there’s a silver lining.
Friday is the home opener, the first of a three-game set with San Francisco.
Jeremy Gandon finished in sixth place at the Seminole Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla. this weekend, shooting a 3-under 213, and K-State also finished in sixth place out of 14 teams with a 7-under performance. Ben Fernandez and Roland Massimino both finished at 1-under to help the cause, tying for 16th individually.
Next up, a trip to South Carolina early next week for the Colleton River Collegiate.
As for the women, they’ll hit the links today for the opening round of the Icon Invitational in The Woodlands, Tex. It’s a two-day event, 36 holes today and 18 tomorrow, and it starts at 8:00am CT.