Wildcats looking for strong Big 12 finish

By Joshua Kinder

It’s that time of year for the weekly, if not daily updates of the “Who’s in and who’s out” carrousel of basketball teams aiming for the NCAA tournament.

As of now, the Kansas State women appear to be in the field, despite the Wildcats’ disappointing loss at last-place Missouri over the weekend.

K-State’s overtime loss to the Tigers hurt, sure, but it doesn’t appear to be a deal breaker for the Wildcats just yet, as they still rank 12th in RPI with the nation’s third-toughest strength of schedule, according to

ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme has the Wildcats projected as a No. 8-seed taking on No. 9-seed Temple in South Bend, Ind. — K-State slipping just one spot from a No. 7 after Saturday’s loss.

K-State can help its case, though, with a pair of wins to close out the regular season this week, beginning with a tough road game at Iowa State on Wednesday night at 7 and finishing with Texas Tech at home on Saturday night.

The Wildcats lost 66-57 at home to the Cyclones (17-10, 8-8) on Jan. 25, so K-State coach Deb Patterson knows Wednesday’s game will be every bit of a challenge, especially at Hilton Coliseum — a place the Wildcats haven’t won at since 2008.

“I think, without question, it’s the toughest venue, and statistically that bears itself out when you look at the foul shots you get, the foul shots they get, the crowd, their win-loss number there in nonconference and the win-loss number in conference,” she said.

“You can evaluate those five areas and say, without question, that’s the toughest place to play in our league.”

But with two games remaining and the Big 12 tournament next week in Kansas City, there’s no doubt that the NCAA tournament is on the minds of players and coaches across the country.

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