Mar. 04.

Cats Move Up to No. 9 in the AP Poll

Manhattan, KS– Following Saturday’s buzzer beating victory over Baylor, the Kansas State Wildcats have moved up 4 spots to No. 9 in the AP poll.

With just one week remaining in the regular season, K-State is in a great position looking ahead to the NCAA tourney. Currently projected as high as a 2 seed and as low as a 4 seed, K-state is also looking ahead to the possibility of winning their first conference championship since 1977.

With two games to play, Senior night against TCU and a road trip to No. 13 Oklahoma St., its looking to be a very big week for Kansas State basketball.

A win over both TCU and Oklahoma St., would earn K-State at least a share with the conference leading Kansas Jayhawks. But if Kansas loses at least 1 of its 2 remaining games, home against Texas Tech tonight, and a road trip to Baylor to end the season on Saturday, K-State will have a chance to win the conference outright.

If K-State manages to claim a share of the title, they will be the first team in the conferences history to claim shares of the Big 12 title in both football, and men’s basketball. A feat that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Feb. 12.

Kansas Ends Streak, Pounds #10 K-State 83-62

Lawrence, KS– Same song different verse. In a game where K-State was looking to deliver a knockout punch to KU’s conference title hopes, they received a knock out punch themselves, over and over and over again.

KU came into Sunflower Showdown following a 3 game losing skid to OSU, TCU, and OU. They did all they did to prove why they were ranked No. 2 in the nation just a few short weeks ago, finishing off K-State 83-62 in front of a sold out Allen Field House.

The Cats got off to a decent start, only trailing KU by 3 points at the first media TO. But following foul trouble for both Henriquez and Gipson, KU went on a 21-6 run to blow the game wide open in the first half.

Kevin Young added the exclamation point with an easy dunk to end the half and send K-State into the half down big, 47-29.

Maybe it was the losing skid, maybe it was returning home, or maybe it was just because it was his birthday. Whatever the reason, KU star Fr. Ben Mclemore went off, finishing with 17 in the first half alone, and 30 overall.

“It happens, we’re still in first place, and if we win the rest of our games we win the league, we cant let one loss become two losses” Weber said after the game.

K-State tried to make a push in the second half, cutting the lead down to 15, but KU quickly responded with a run of their own to quickly finish off the Cats small hope at a comeback.

Three Wildcats finished in double figures including, McGruder with 20, Rodriguez with 17, and Spradling with 10.

But no one played great for K-State. K-State was outrebounded by KU 41-23. Coupled with 14 turnovers, K-State lacked the spirit and fight that made them so deadly in their past 4 victories.

In the end, its not the end of the world for K-State. KU arguably played their best game of the season, while K-State played its worse. K-State is still level on games with the Jayhawks and a share of the conference title is still within reach.

Maybe its the weather, or just bad luck but K-State does not play good in Allen Fieldhouse. Last season the Cats bounced back from a blowout in Lawrence, with a dominating victory over No. 6 Missouri. A bounce back victory over Baylor on Saturday and K-State can easily get back on track. Let this loss blossom into two and K-State can kiss their conference title hopes goodbye.

“I know my teammates were going to come in on Wednesday ready to fight and get ready  for Baylor on Saturday”, McGruder said in the post game, for K-States sake, he better be right.  Sunflower Beatdown

Feb. 11.

#10 K-State Looks To Extend #14 Jayhawks 3 Game Losing Streak

Manhattan, KS– “Why settle for second when first is available” former K-State Head Coach Bob Huggins said during his introductory press conference. Huggins is long gone, and so is his successor, Frank Martin. Yet here the Cats sit as the lone team atop the conference, 7-2 and one game ahead of Oklahoma State and arch rival Kansas. Tonight the Cats will look to stay atop the conference, standing in their way their toughest game of the season. Big Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas State vs. Kansas is just another game. A win over the Jayhawks is just another W in the win column, at least thats what the players said after beating Iowa State. But, to the Wildcat fan base, a win tonight against a reeling Jayhawk team will be a victory that will be remembered for a long time to come in Manhattan, KS.

In K-State 59-55 loss to Kansas earlier in the season, K-State was two missed threes away from a victory.

The Jayhawk defense left K-States shooters open on the perimeter on multiple occasions. The Cats were a mere 9-30 from beyond the arc. The majority of the misses were good open shots. Shots the Cats have been knocking down in recent games.

For K-State, the game will come down to three things, Rodney McGruder, continued lockdown defense, and the first 5 minutes.

Since K-State beat KU 59-55 in the 05/06 season, K-State has never been closer than 10 points at the 10 minute mark of the first half. Slow starts have done more than doom their chances in Lawrence. If K-State does not get off to a fast start, then we may very well see a repeat of K-States past blowouts.

No one seems more irritated about the KU game than Sr. Rodney McGruder. When asked about the KU game in Saturday’s post game press conference, McGruder responded and talked about how tired he was that the media was treating KU like it was a bigger game than all the others.

To McGruder it is just another game. But McGruder will have to put in a performance worthy of a star to bring a W. McGruder can not afford to get in early foul trouble like he has in games against Texas and OU.

If K-State wants to walk out of Lawrence victorious, McGruder will have to play more than 33 minutes and pour in a performance like he did Saturday against the Clones when the Sr. scored 22 points while adding 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

If there’s one thing K-State and Bruce Weber have held over from Frank Martin’s tenure, its solid defense. K-State has evolved into arguably the best defense in the country. K-State held Kansas to its lowest scoring output of the season when the two teams last met in January. Another great defensive performance tonight and K-State has a very good shot of walking away with a win.

For as big of a win as this could be for K-State, a loss will be equally as devastating for Kansas. The Jayhawks are currently in the middle of a 3 game losing streak, and one could argue in a tailspin. All three losses were upsets at the hands of unranked teams, Oklahoma St, TCU, and Oklahoma.

If the loss to Oklahoma St. was a shock, the following loss to last placed TCU was a lightning bolt. TCU was winless in the big 12 at the time of the victory, and had not won a game since Dec. Ku followed up that embarrassing loss by putting in a better performance against OU in a game that still ended up as a 72-66 loss in Norman.

KU has not lost 4 in a row since 1988. The last time they lost back to back home games, also 1988, Kansas State 71-62 and Oklahoma 75-63.

The Jayhawks are aware of the pressure on them to win the game, and will likely come in firing on all cylinders.

For K-State it may simply be a matter of weathering the storm. No team in the Big 12 is playing better basketball than Kansas State. K-State has not had a game of this magnitude in a very long time. A win for the Cats would solidify their Big 12 title hopes and send the already exciting Cat fanbase into a frenzy, while a loss simply means game on in the title race.

A victory for KU and its back to business as usual, while a loss will be the death blow to an already wounded team.

Feb. 09.

Top Cats: K-State moves into sole possession of first place with win over Iowa State

Manhattan, KS– Paced by 22 points from Rodney McGruder and a season-high 20 points from Angel Rodriguez, No. 13 K-State (19-4, 8-2 Big 12) took care of business with a 79-70 win over the Iowa State Cyclones (16-7, 6-4 Big 12) in front of a sell-out crowd at Bramlage Coliseum.

A three pointer from McGruder at the top of the key capped an 11-2 K-State run during which the Wildcats turned a 50-50 ballgame with 11:57 remaining into a 61-52 Wildcat lead just three minutes later.

The win, coupled with Oklahoma’s 72-66 win over Kansas, left the Wildcats all alone in first place in the Big 12 standings.

After jumping out to an early lead the Wildcats had to battle back to gain a 33-32 halftime advantage. Iowa State went on 26 to 11 run, that covered over nine minutes of the first half, and saw the Cyclones build a 22-28 lead with 5:28 until halftime.

K-State used 17 second-chance points in the second half to pull away for the victory.  Thomas Gipson was key, scoring 11 of his 16 points during the second half and adding a team-high 7 rebounds.

K-State held Iowa State leading scorer Will Clyburn, who had 24 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa State’s 73-67 win over K-State in Ames, Iowa, to just 6 points and 2 boards in today’s contest.

K-State heads next about 90 miles east down I-70 to face the reeling Kansas Jayhawks on Monday night.  It will likely be the first time that the Wildcats be the higher-ranked team going into a Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence since 1982.

Feb. 04.

K-State wins 52-50, What We Learned in Norman

Manhattan, KS– Angel Rodriguez is clutch. With just over 5 seconds remaining in Saturdays tilt against Oklahoma, Rodriguez went to the line with a chance to give K-State a lead over the Oklahoma Sooners. Cool, calm, and collected Rodriguez buried both. The 52-50 victory over Oklahoma, coupled with KU’s upset at home, has breathed new life into the K-State Wildcats. Here are 5 things we learned from Saturday’s victory.

1.) More than just McGruder- In what has now been a theme in the past 2 games, K-State has proven they can win games without the scoring of Rodney McGruder. Against Texas and Oklahoma, McGruder picked up 2 early fouls that benched him for the majority of the first half. Jr. Will Spradling also picked up 2 early fouls and was out for the majority of the 1st half. Even without the Cats 2 main scoring options, they were able to score and maintain a lead over Oklahoma. Martavious Irving was the main spark plug coming off the bench. Irving poured in 10 points, including 2 3 pointers to supply K-State with some key bench scoring.

2.) Defense, Defense, Defense- If we learned anything from Saturday’s performance, it was what the Cats sometimes lack in offense, they make up for in defense. For the 2nd team in as many weeks, K-State held a team to its lowest offensive output of the season. Even more impressive, with Spradling and McGruder benched, K-State held Oklahoma scoreless for a 10 minute stretch from the 6:27 mark of the first half, to the 15:43 mark of the second half. 10 minutes with 0 points from the Sooners, that is impressive. If K-State can put in more defensive performances like that for the rest of the season, they will become one of the deadliest defenses in college basketball.

3.) Angel Rodriguez is a True Point Guard- While Bill Self threw his senior ball handler under the bus following their loss to Oklahoma State, Kansas State is sitting pretty with one of their best point guards in the past decade. While Rodriguez is just a So. he leads the Big 12 in assist to turnover ratio, and gives K-State that something special when he is on the court. Still prone to taking bad shots, Rodriguez has eliminated a lot of the Fr. mistakes he was known for last year. He came to K-State as a so called “clone” of Denis Clemente, but might leave with a reputation that would far overshadow Clemente.

4.) Warrior Spradling- With McGruder struggling, it was in fact Will Spradling that stepped up big for Kansas State. With his 12 points, Spradling lead K-State in scoring, but it was the timing of his points that were most impressive. Midway through the second half, Isaiah Cousins buried a top of the arc three, to pull within one of K-State. On the ensuing possession Spradling buried a cold blooded corner three after K-State drained the shot clock down to 6 seconds. Later in the half Spradling tipped in a Southwell 3 pointer to extend K-States lead to 8. Considering Spradling supposedly broke his nose against Texas and was benched for the majority of the first half, Spradling is turning into one of K-State’s biggest warriors.

5.) Back in the Title Race……….For Now- With K-States win, and KU’s loss the Cats are now just a game back of the Jayhawks in the race for first. Throw in a Baylor loss at Iowa State, and K-State are in sole possession of second. With 10 games remaining on the Big 12 slate, it is a longshot but K-State is now locked in a battle for the Big 12 crown. If K-State can take down Texas Tech and Iowa State in its next 2 games, they will go into Lawrence a game behind the Jayhawks. And if, K-State can shake its game woes to the Jayhawks K-State could find themselves halfway through the Big 12 slate tied for first in the conference.

While half of the season is yet to be played, K-State has found themselves exactly where they wanted to be at this point in the conference slate. 2nd in the conference with a chance, while it is a small chance, to unseat the Jayhawks at the top of the conference. If you haven’t already, buckle up cause the rest of the K-State season could be the most exciting in a very long time.

Jan. 23.

Cats Fall to Jayhawks 59-55

Manhattan, KS– So close, yet so far. K-State dropped a 59-55 heartbreaker last night to Kansas in Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State fought hard and stayed close the entire game but was never able to close the gap on No. 3 Kansas. The Cats were lead by Jr. Shane Southwell, who had a career game making 5 three pointers to give him 19 points and lead all players in scoring.

KU jumped out to an 18-10 lead midway through the first half and looked to be running away from the Cats until So. Angel Rodriguez breathed life into K-State and lead them on a 9-0 run, capped by a Southwell three pointer, to give K-State a 19-18 lead with 6:23 left in the half. Unfortunately for K-State, that was the last time they would lead in the game. Perry Ellis answered with a layup and K-State was never able to get closer than one the rest of the game.

Missed opportunities was the story of the game for Kansas State. The Cats went 9-30 from three point range and spurned many wide open looks. Star player Rodney McGruder was 3-9 and finished the night with just 13 points. Angel Rodriguez and Will Spradling were a combined 1-10 from behind the arc, while Southwell went 5-11. K-State was able to get wide open looks for the majority of the match up but were not able to hit the shots when it counted.

Nadir Tharpe went to the line for a one and one with the Jayhawks up 3 with 26 seconds left and calmly swished both to end the Cats realistic hopes.

With the loss K-State drops to 15-3 on the season and 4-1 in Big 12 play. Next up a big road matchup with Farmageddon rival Iowa State on Saturday. K-State will need a win to keep KU within their grasp.

Dec. 03.

K-States Caps Big 12 Title with 42-24 Victory over Texas

Manhattan, KS– For the second straight year the Wildcats and Head Coach Bill Snyder have outdone themselves. Picked to finish 6th in the Big 12 preseason polls, the Wildcats have finished on top of the conference for just the second time ever. K-State put the finishing touches on its Big 12 title by “owning” Texas for the 5th straight time, 42-24.

K-State entered saturday’s match up needing a win to secure a Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl berth due to Oklahoma defeating TCU earlier in the day.

An emotionally charged night begin with one of the loudest senior night presentations in K-State history as three of K-State’s all time greats, Collin Klein, Arthur Brown, and Nigel Malone, were all playing their final game in Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

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Nov. 26.

Its Fiesta or Bust for #6 K-State

Manhattan, KS– 9 days ago K-States bowl picture seemed crystal clear. Beat Baylor and solidify at least a Fiesta Bowl berth, then play Texas for a trip to the National Championship. Surely the number 1 team in the country wouldn’t lose to the worst defense in the country. But once again, the Sports Illustrated curse reared its ugly head and the Cats went down. Now with one game left to play where does that put K-State in the bowl picture?

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Nov. 12.

K-States BCS Destiny now Crystal Clear

Manhattan, KS– Suddenly it is all clear. There should be no more worrying, no more thoughts of being left out. If Kansas State can beat Baylor and Texas, they will play in the national championship.

The team that 14 years ago ended K-State championship dreams, has now cleared the path for the Cats to play in their first ever championship game.  Some might find it poetic justice, others might see it as a sign. But just minutes after K-State kicked off against TCU, the Aggies held on to defeat the #1 ranked Crimson Tide. Two days later, the Wildcats now sit at #1 in the BCS polls, compared to #2 in the Coaches and Harris polls.

Despite, Oregons now firm grasp on the top spot in all human polls, K-State is firmly above Notre Dame in both polls at #2, so any hopes of an Irish leap frog have been pretty much dashed. K-State now controls its own destiny in Championship hunt.

Only 2 teams now stand in the way between K-State and Miami, a hungry Baylor team this saturday and a red hot Texas team who hasn’t beaten K-State since 2003.

K-State defeated TCU 23-10 on Saturday, but it came at a cost. K-State lost 3 starters to injury for an unseeable amount of time. So. WR Curry Sexton went down with a shoulder injury, while more importantly, starting Safety Ty Zimmerman and all american WR and kick returner Tyler Lockett both went down with leg injuries. Unconfirmed reports have given indication that Sexton will be out for the remainder of the season, while both Lockett and Zimmerman are questionable to doubtful for K-State two remaining games.

Head Coach Bill Snyder has not and will not say a peep about the status of any of K-States injured players, so Cat fans will just have to waiting for the rest of the season.

K-State Heisman contender Collin Klein did return to action at TCU after suffereing from an apparent head injury the week before against Oklahoma State. While Klein did not fully appear himself, he still account for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

If the Cats win in Waco this weekend, a birth in the Championship will come down to a December showdown with top 15 Texas in a game that might mirror K-States showdown with Texas A&M in 1998. This time expect a happier ending for the boys wearing purple.

Nov. 09.

#2 K-State at TCU Game Preview

Manhattan, KS– When K-State heads south to Fort Worth on Saturday to take on the TCU Horned Frogs, the second ranked Wildcats will once again be on upset alert. This time, for a different reason. Last Saturdays mysterious injury to Collin Klein has left many in the dark about his current condition, and whether or not he will play. Regardless of Klein’s condition it sets up for a very interesting match up between K-State and TCU.

The second ranked Kansas State Wildcats are off to their best start in well over a decade, and are poised to play for the schools first ever BCS National Title.

Led by Heisman Front Runner Collin Klein, the Wildcats have been very difficult to stop this season. Teams have been able to shut down, or limit, parts of the Wildcat attack. But when Kansas State needs to make plays, they have been impossible to stop this season. Facing critical thirds downs in away games at both Oklahoma and Iowa State, the Kansas State offense has answered every test.

Devonte Fields and the 25th ranked TCU defense will be looking to become the first school to shut down the Collin Klein led attack this year. The Horned Frogs are currently the top ranked defense in the Big 12, in terms of yards allowed, at 333 per game, and will be K-State’s biggest test since facing Oklahoma earlier in the season. But with all the offensive weapons on the K-State side, TCU will have to get pretty creative to stop the Cats.

TCU is coming off of a much needed 39-38 double overtime win at West Virginia. The Horned Frogs were in the middle of a 2 game losing streak going into the game. In addition the Horned Frogs are returning home for the first time 2 games. TCU is 2-2 on the season at home, and 0-2 in conference play.

Leading the Horned Frog attack is Fr. QB Trevone Boykin. What Boykin lacks in decision making, he makes up for in playmaking. While Boykin is no where close to the QB that Casey Pachall was, Boykin can make plays both on the ground and through the air. On the year he has thrown for 1376 yards and 13 touchdowns, while adding 2 on the ground.

K-State will need to get pressure on Boykin and force him into making decisions before he wants too. Kansas State has done a great job of rattling QB’s early on in games. The Cats have also forced multiple QB’s into turning the ball over multiple times. If K-State can keep Boykin from getting the ball to his playmakers on the outside, K-State should win, and easily for that matter.

Prediction: #2 Kansas State 45 TCU 21

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