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SLATE: Can they make it two?

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Wildcats are in Austin tonight, if you can watch it.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Track & Field

We brought it up on the open game thread on Saturday, but something besides basketball happened late last week. Led by Tejaswin Shankar, who earned the “High Point Scorer” award with 21 points in four events, the Wildcats track & field squad earned 15 first-place finishes on their way to taking their third straight KSU-KU-WSU Triangular title on Friday at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence.

The Wildcats return to action this Friday with the Austra Skujyte Women’s Pentathlon, the Steve Fritz Men’s Heptathlon, and the DeLoss Dodds Invitiational (gotta have a special name for everything now, I guess). The pentathlon events begin on Friday, with the heptathlon and invitational events on Saturday.

Basketball

The Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team did something that felt nearly impossible Saturday morning. They won, beating a ranked opponent no less. Sure, Tech was playing it’s fourth game in a week, but the WeberCats managed to not fold down the stretch on their way to a surprising 62-51 over Texas Tech on Saturday. The Wildcats knew their backs were against the wall after an 0-4 start to conference play that was looking like it could easily snowball into 0-8. But “super-senior” Mike McGuirl, the lone remaining player from the Wildcats 2019 Big 12 title team who returned after missing two games in COVID protocols, was set on avoiding yet another “moral victory” and the Cats responded to their veteran leader.

Now the big question is, can they sustain it? We’ll get the start of the answer tonight, as the Wildcats are in Austin to take on a Texas Longhorns squad they just saw a couple weeks ago. Of course, good luck watching the 7:30pm contest tonight, because of course this game is on the Longhorn Network (probably the best thing about Texas leaving the conference is no longer having to deal with this nonsense). The Longhorns have fallen a bit in the rankings since the two last met, but they are still a Top 25 team, and a win tonight by the Wildcats would be huge for momentum headed into this weekend’s contest against KU in Bramlage.

Speaking of the Jayhawks, the women return to action tomorrow night from Bramlage, looking to break a two-game skid, their first of the season. The 6:30pm contest can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, but tickets are also still available and it would be great to see Bramlage packed for the Sunflower Showdown (and not with a bunch of blue & red).

Ayoka Lee had an off game against Texas Tech on the road, and no one else really stepped up to fill the void in a 64-45 loss to Texas Tech on the road Saturday afternoon. The two straight losses dropped K-State to 13-4 (3-2) on the season, and of course dropped the freshly-ranked MittieCats right back out of the polls (despite three of the four losses coming to Top 10 teams, and Tech already owning an upset over a still-ranked Texas team...).