The Cats have virtually avenged every defeat that they have suffered this year. They were beaten by the Iowa State Cyclones and came back and beat them two weeks later. They were beaten to end the regular season by the Oklahoma State Cowboys and wiped out that loss with a win last night here at the Sprint Center. The only Big XII team that KSU hasn’t beaten this year? None other than these
Jayhawks. We talk a lot about G Angel Rodriguez and G Rodney McGruder, but here in the final, we’re going to talk some about the Kansas State defense. This unit has been flat out awesome here in KC, holding down the Pokes to just 57 points a night after keeping the Texas Longhorns to 49. That drops the scoring average for foes down to just 60.1 points per game, and work like that is what’s keeping the Wildcats in the running for a Top 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday.
The Jayhawks have been the best team in the Big XII all season long without a shadow of a doubt, and if you take away just a few snafus in the middle of the conference campaign and the shocking 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears to end the regular season, this is a team that largely has looked unbeatable. Now, Head Coach Bill Self has some preaching to do to his team. The Duke Blue Devils have been beaten in the ACC Tournament, and that could leave the door open to get all the way up to the No. 1 line in the dance. Will it happen? It will take a win to find out. We aren’t optimistic, but it is definitely a possibility for a Selection Committee that really likes to reward its conference champions. Kansas has the No. 1 ranked defense in the land in shooting percentage allowed at just 36.0 percent, and the guards for the Wildcats are going to have a heck of a time coming into the lane against C Jeff Withey. There just isn’t anyone to match up with the height and athleticism that he is bringing to the table.
The Wildcats are going to put up a bit of a fight in this one, but in the end, there is no doubt whatsoever who the better of these two teams are. Kansas is getting some great shooting right now from G Ben McLemore and great work on both ends of the floor from Withey. There just isn’t an equal out there for Kansas State. It’ll take a mesmerizing effort from beyond the arc to keep the Wildcats close, and we just don’t think they have the goods to be able to do that when push comes to shove. Kansas 75 – Kansas State 63
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.