Kansas State finished a perfect week with easy wins at West Virginia and at home against Oklahoma State. They are up one game on Texas Tech and two on Kansas and Baylor with just four games to play.
The Wildcats wore their lavender uniforms Saturday and improved their Big 12 record to 11-3 with an 85-46 victory over the Cowboys. This game was over after about two possessions. Kansas State jumped ahead early and ran away with it leading 42-18 at the half.
The Kansas State win put additional pressure on both Kansas and Texas Tech when they tipped at 7pm in Lubbock, Texas. This game was also over after two possessions and once again it went in Kansas State’s favor. The Red Raiders made Kansas look awful on both ends of the floor. Kansas struggles to score on offense and on Saturday they were trying to do that against arguably the best defense in the nation.
This Kansas team is unlike any we have seen in a long time. It’s not that they rely on freshmen. Kansas has done that often. It’s that this Kansas team does not have players with the talent and composure of previous teams in the 14-year Big 12 title run.
The Big 12 standings of those within two games of first after Saturday’s games are as follows:
|School||W – L||GB|
|Kansas State||11 – 3||—|
|Texas Tech||10 – 4||1|
|Kansas||9 – 5||2|
|Baylor||9 – 5||2|
Those standings are with just four games remaining for each team. So let’s take a look at the remaining schedule for each team:
|Kansas State||Texas Tech||Kansas||Baylor|
|@ Kansas (10-4)||vs Oklahoma State (3-11)||vs Kansas State (11-3)||vs Texas (7-7)|
|vs Baylor (9-5)||@ TCU (6-8)||@ Oklahoma State (3-11)||@ Kansas State (11-3)|
|@ TCU (6-8)||vs Texas (7-7)||@ Oklahoma (5-9)||vs Oklahoma State (3-11)|
|vs Oklahoma (5-9)||@ Iowa State (8-6)||vs Baylor (9-5)||@ Kansas (9-5)|
If anyone is still holding out hope of Kansas keeping their Big 12 streak alive that surely will go away if Kansas State can win at Allen Field House on Monday night. That could be tough though. Expect the Jayhawks to be more motivated than ever in that game. However, the way the two teams are playing right now motivation might not be enough.
The Wildcats could lose two more games. They realistically could lose their next three games but that’s unlikely the way they have played this season. Two losses would leave them with five in conference. Texas Tech likely will lose at least one game in their last four although we could also see them win out with the roll they are on right now. Kansas has to defeat Kansas State on Monday and probably has to win out. Baylor will lose at least one game and probably two.
So, it looks like teams will have to finish at least 13-5 to have a chance to share the title. For 13-5 to grab a share, Kansas State has to lose two games and Texas Tech has to lose one game. Kansas and Baylor would have to win out to share in a title at 13-5. Since Kansas and Baylor play one of them is going to finish with at least six losses.
Kansas State is in a great position right now to win at least a share of the Big 12 title. Texas Tech is playing as well as anyone right now. It’s going to be tough for Kansas and probably next to impossible for Baylor.
Big Monday has never been more important for Kansas State. The Wildcats can end the Jayhawks’ hope with a win in Lawrence. It should be a fun one. Don’t miss it.