On Thursday the Big 12 released K-State's Men's Basketball Conference schedule. ESPN seems to believe K-State has a shot at a great season (counter to the typical DISREPECT MEME) with every game except the TCU game on a national ESPN Broadcast. With the onset of football mere days away, we briefly break you away from the oncoming euphoria to breakdown the new schedule.
Top 5 Must Watch Games
1. Kansas, February 23 (ESPN)
The only Big Monday game of the season is a huge one. After breaking a six game losing streak to Kansas last season, K-State looks to continue defending Bramlage from the school down the river. This may be the best shot for K-State to make a good final impression for a good seed from the selection committee (at least we hope that's what they need the good impression for).
2. Iowa State, February 28 (ESPN/2)
Coming off a huge Big Monday game, this game may be equally as important. As the final home game it will be vital that K-State neither suffer a post-Kansas hangover, nor adopt a too-jubilant "we can beat anyone" attitude and let this game trip them up. Iowa State is always a dangerous team with Coach Fred "Dreamy" Hoiberg roaming the sideline and K-State cannot afford a let down in its final home game of the season.
3. Oklahoma State, January 3 (ESPNU)
K-State opens the conference season January 3rd at Gallagher-Iba arena taking on the Marcus Smartless Oklahoma State Cowboys. This marks the fourth time in five seasons K-State has opened against OSU, and with the Cowboys looking to rebuild after losing both Smart and Markel Brown to the NBA Draft, K-State should have a good shot at winning their opening game.
4. Texas, March 7 (ESPN/2)
K-State's final conference game of the season matches up two potential sleepers for the Big 12 crown. Marcus Foster will look to duplicate his outstanding performance against the Longhorns, while hoping the crypt known as the Frank Erwin Center doesn't suck all the life out of his teammates like it did a year ago in a last second buzzer-beater loss.
5. Kansas, January 31 (ESPN/2)
K-State finishes the first month of the season visiting its own personal hell, Allen Fieldhouse. K-State hasn't won in Lawrence since 2006, and will look to break an eight game losing streak. The Jayhawks will be coming off what should be a cake walk at TCU (although we all know what happened two years ago) and could be ripe for an upset; their most difficult game prior to K-State will be their game at Iowa State on Jan. 17th.
Toughest Stretch: February 21-March 7
K-State's final four games of the regular season may be their toughest, beginning with a road game against Scott Drew's Baylor Bears. The Bears always seem to play K-State tough even with the Scott Drew coaching handicap. Also going against K-State is Baylor's ability to turn it on at the end of the season and win solid resume building games when they count the most. Following Baylor are the aforementioned Kansas, Iowa State, and Texas games. These final four games could very well decide a great seed in the tournament -- or cause a precipitous drop in seeding. Hopefully K-State is firing on all cylinders going into these games.
The Eyes of the World are Upon Us
K-State has a school record 17 nationally televised games this season, highlighted by the Big Monday matchup with Kansas. Kansas State's only non-ESPN affiliated appearance is the February 18th game against TCU. That game will be shown on Fox Sports Southwest.
Overall, the schedule is fairly balanced, and against a conference as strong as the Big 12 there is no stretch were this team can afford to lose focus. What do y'all think is K-State's toughest stretch? Best games to watch? Throw it in the comments.