Unless you’ve been living under some sort of gigantic boulder-shaped object for the last week, you know the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament is underway. Yesterday, top seed Kansas State beat TCU 70-61 to advance to the semifinals. The 15th-ranked Wildcats will now play Iowa State (21-11) at 6 PM tonight for a spot in the championship game.
The Wildcats have now won 25 games, the seventh time in program history the team has reached that total.
The win owed a lot to Xavier Sneed, who led the team with 19 points, 16 of them in the second half (Corbin McGuire, K-State Sports). He was joined by three teammates in double figures: Barry Brown, Jr. (12), Kamau Stokes (11), and Makol Mawien (10). In the end, it was Stokes’ grit, Brown’s experience, and some motivation from Bruce Weber that helped the team escape the Horned Frogs (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
The game also saw Cartier Diarra’s return to action. He contributed eight points, five rebounds, and three assists. But mostly, he came through with a leaping dunk that brought the fans to their feet and energized his teammates (Greg Woods, Manhattan Mercury).
TCU actually took an early lead in the game, at one point ahead 23-11. But thanks to the Wildcats’ defensive pressure and some key offensive contributions, Kansas State was ultimately able to pull away (Luke Sobba, Bring on the Cats).
The Wildcats play the Cyclones tonight in what is not quite a rivalry game but has definitely produced some memorable games and maybe some bad blood too. Brown, asked to talk about his next opponent, mentioned Iowa State’s recent win in Manhattan leaving “a sick taste in our mouth.” (Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register).
The Cyclones discovered both some lost confidence and the three-point shot in their win over Baylor, with Iowa State making 13 shots from beyond the arc. Let’s hope that’s cooled off a bit by tonight.
All the Texas teams in the conference lost on the same day, which is definitely some sort of moral victory for the rest of the conference. And speaking of Texas and the Big 12, we would be remiss if we didn’t share with you this thoughtfully-crafted love letter to Kansas City and the Big 12 Tournament. WRNL’s Levi Stephenson echoes all our thoughts:
In the end though, the Big 12 knows what kind of treasure it has with Kansas City
Kansas State baseball will be back in action at Tointon Family Stadium tonight, as the BatCats take on UT Rio Grande Valley in the first game of a three-game series. First pitch is set for 6 PM.
Kansas State is currently 8-8 after taking a two-game sweep against Northern Illinois this week. Meanwhile, the Vaqueros have won 10 of the last 12 games, but this will be the team’s first series outside Texas.
Track and Field
The 2019 outdoor track season officially begins today, as Kansas State’s men and women athletes compete in Fort Worth this weekend in the TCU Invitational. Competition begins with field events at 9 AM tomorrow, followed by track events at 2:00 PM.
This is the first of 12 outdoor meets this season for the Wildcats.