K-State needs a win tonight to keep pace with KU

By Joel Jellison

Kansas took care of its business on Monday night. Now it’s Kansas State’s turn.

With a win tonight against TCU, the Wildcats and Jayhawks will be setup to decide the regular season Big 12 title on the road on Saturday.

Kansas will be playing against a Baylor team that has its back pinned squarely against a wall in terms of the NCAA tournament. K-State, meanwhile, will play an Oklahoma State team that could be playing for second place in the league. That is, of course, if it beats Iowa State on Wednesday.

Both the Wildcats and Jayhawks have just three conference losses this season, and are playing both for the conference title and positioning in the NCAA tournament. The Jayhawks have found their way back to a No. 1 seed in the tournament, while K-State has been projected in the 3 to 4 seed range in bracket projections this week.

The Big 12 clarified on Monday during the coaches’ teleconference that the regular season tiebreaking procedures have remained the same since the conference reduced to 10 teams.

If both Kansas and K-State finish with the same record, both will be Big 12 regular-season champs and both will receive a trophy. KU would receive the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and K-State would be the No. 2 seed.

If KU wins the conference and the Wildcats lost to Oklahoma State, the Cowboys would take the No. 2 seed and K-State would fall to the No. 3.

K-State coach Bruce Weber said they are sticking to the philosophy that Wildcats’ football coach Bill Snyder helped instill in them several weeks ago.

“We’ve tried to focus on keep going 1-0,” he said. “If we go 1-0 we’re going to stay tied for first place. That’s all we can worry about.”

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said he can appreciate what Weber has accomplished with K-State this season, understanding how tough it is to take over another team and try to make it successful from day one.

Huggins was able to accomplish similar feats in his only year at K-State and first year with the Mountaineers. He said to have a good season in a power conference takes not only skill, but a good deal of luck. Huggins pointed to Kansas’ win at Iowa State and the Wildcats’ win over Baylor on Saturday as prime examples.

Huggins said when you don’t show up ready to play, it usually doesn’t turn out right. And that, in turn, will effect your team’s standing toward the NCAA tournament.

“When you’re in a power conference you can’t have a bad day,” he said. “When you have a bad day you’re going to lose.”

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017