Kansas State Wildcats Take Tough Trip to Knoxville


Kansas State played their second road game of the week on Saturday afternoon. Tennessee ran the Wildcats off the floor 70-58.

Kansas State got off to a slow start for the second straight game.  It didn’t end well in Ames and the Wildcats weren’t able to dig out of the hole in Knoxville.

The game, part of the Big12/SEC Challenge, was not going to help Wildcats earn an NCAA tournament bid. The convincing loss may have actually hurt them.

I don’t like these non-conference games in the middle of the Big 12 schedule, but the made for TV competition is fun for viewers. It wasn’t fun for purple fans.

I was concerned when Barry Brown was called for a charging foul during the Wildcat’s first possession of the game.

It went downhill from there.

The Wildcats were not able to get the ball into the paint and were not getting any rebounds.

The Volunteers owned the board in the first half 22-12. Kansas State also gave up 13 second chance points in the half.

To make matters worse, the Wildcats didn’t score over the final 3 plus minutes of the half.  They trailed by 17 at the break. Just like in Ames on Tuesday.

After going 0-6 from beyond the arc in the first half, The Wildcats opened the second half with early 3 pointers from Barry Brown and Dean Wade.

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When Bruce Weber’s guys closed to within ten, I was optimistic. However, Rick Barnes’ Vols were just toying with the Wildcats.

The ‘Cats had their chances at the rim in the second half and couldn’t get the job done.

Kansas State gave up almost two-dozen second chance points and lost the overall rebound battle 43-29.  You won’t win games doing that.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 15-6 on the season.

Now Kansas State can turn their attention to the Big 12 conference race and getting healthy. The Wildcats host TCU on Wednesday.