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SLATE: Sunflower Showdown Week Part 1

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The men pick up a big win last night, and the women will look to match tonight against KU.

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

Basketball

Last night the WeberCats pulled of their second stunner in as many games. It was ugly at times, and the “first-to-60” game mark had to be broken, but the Kansas State Wildcats managed to go on the road and beat a ranked opponent for the first time since Barry, Dean, and Kam were on the court for K-State. It was a great moment for the crew that had a legitimate chance to upset Texas two weeks ago in Bramlage, and Mark Smith, who led the Wildcats across the board last night, was particularly happy to get some revenge on the Longhorns after the way they celebrated after winning the early January contest.

With the win 66-65 win over No. 23 Texas, the Cats have improved their record to 10-7 and 2-4 in Big 12. Those 10 wins are already better than last year’s 9-win season, and both win marks are just one away from matching the total output of the 2019-20 season. And with two-straight wins over ranked opponents, the Cats are inching back into NCAA Tournament bubble discussion, though the Cats will still need to find at least eight more wins to feel comfortable about their chances of making the Big Dance. It’s still an uphill battle for these Wildcats, and that includes hosting the No. 7 Jayhawks this Saturday afternoon in Bramlage.

Over on the women’s side, the MittieCats kick off Sunflower Showdown Week tonight, as they host the Jayhawks, with tip-off scheduled for 6:30pm. If you can’t make it to Bramlage (and you really should try if you are in town), the game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. The Cats are on a two-game skid after falling to No. 7 Iowa State and Texas Tech last week, and will be looking to get back on track against a tough KU squad that has really turned things around this year. At 11-3, these birds are on track for Brand Schneider’s best record in Lawrence, and already have a big upset win over Texas in Austin and nearly beat Baylor in Lawrence this past Saturday. It’s going to be a fight.

Ayoka Lee has been getting plenty of hype, and for good reason, but freshman guard Serena Sundell is turning heads in her own right, and was recently named to ESPN’s list of top freshmen in the country, coming in at #3 in their Top 10. Not bad for a kid that nearly picked North Dakota State instead of K-State, thanks to Conor Riley luring her big brother to Fargo before he left for Manhattan.