Kansas State, after ascending to No. 16 AP/No. 15 Coaches’ poll early in the day, held KU’s Big 12 championship destiny in its hands Monday night. But, as happens with agonizing regularity, the Wildcats were unable to beat KU in Allen Fieldhouse, falling 64-49. A win would have put the Jayhawks three games behind with only three to play. Instead, K-State now holds only a one-game lead over its in-state rival, while Texas Tech has a chance to tie the ‘Cats atop the conference when it hosts Oklahoma State tonight at 6:00.
K-State’s defense was adequate, but the offense never found any rhythm. The margin frankly could have been worse, had Kamau Stokes not stepped up and hit some crucial jump shots to keep his team in the game.
Recaps abound, but we’ll stick to the K-State-centric ones:
From our own Luke Thompson: K-State offense stumbles in 64-49 loss at Kansas
From Kellis Robinett in the Wichita Eagle: K-State seniors Barry Brown, Dean Wade disappoint in 64-49 loss at KU
From Nathan Enserro in the Collegian: K-State drops key game in Lawrence
From Ryan Black at the Mercury: K-State falls at Kansas, 64-49
From the Athletic Department: No. 16/15 K-State Falls to No. 15/16 Kansas, 64-49, in Sunflower Showdown
That should be plenty. As dispirited as the offensive effort was, all is not lost. The Wildcats still control their own destiny. If they win out, they are assured at least a share of the league title. Winning their final three games would also end KU’s string of consecutive wins or shares of the league title at 14.
The team will host Baylor on Saturday evening. Though the ‘Cats beat the Bears in Waco, shooting wizard Makai Mason did not play in that game. Bruce and the guys will need to recover and play well to avoid falling out of first place entirely.
Winter just won’t go away, so the BatCats were forced to move their “home” opening series against the University of San Francisco to Fort Worth.
The K-State women open a two-game home stand Wednesday night against West Virginia. The Mountaineers are 19-7 on the season and 10-5 in conference play. K-State is 17-10, 8-7.