Kansas State basketball can capitalize on Houston and Kansas slip-ups

No. 2 Houston and No. 3 Kansas fall on back-to-back nights opening up the door for other teams. Kansas State has the chance to make a statement in a star-studded conference.

Jan 9, 2024; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard Cam Carter (5) looks to get the Wildcats offense setup.
Jan 9, 2024; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard Cam Carter (5) looks to get the Wildcats offense setup. / Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
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Chaos is ensuing in the Big 12 Conference. First No. 2 Houston lost on Tuesday night to Iowa State, and then No. 3 Kansas lost to new Big 12 member UCF and No. 9 Oklahoma lost to TCU on Wednesday night.

Oh and by the way, No. 1 Purdue also dropped a game to Nebraska. Neither in the Big 12, but it certainly helps the overall ranking picture.

In the first week of conference play, no one thought this was how it was going to go. However, Kansas State fans have reason to celebrate. The Wildcats are 12-3 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. Based on the overall record, K-State sits third in the conference behind No. 14 Baylor and Texas Tech.

Kansas State had a solid 81-67 win over West Virginia in Morgantown Tuesday night. The Wildcats opened up Big 12 play against the team that the Jayhawks just lost to. The Cats beat UCF 77-52. If we go by UCF's National Championship logic, K-State has also basically beaten KU already this season.

The competition in the Big 12 is tight and cutthroat, even one loss in conference play can be detrimental to the best teams. The Big 12 has the most teams currently in the AP Top 25. So basically you need every win you can get. The top teams such as Houston and Kansas can not afford to lose to easily beatable teams like Iowa State and UCF.

With three of the five ranked teams in the Big 12 with 1-1 conference records, this opens the door for Kansas State to make a statement early in the season. Their first real test will come Saturday against Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX.

Team

Conference Record

Overall Record

No. 14 Baylor

2-0

13-2

Texas Tech

2-0

13-2

Kansas State

2-0

12-3

No. 2 Houston

1-1

14-1

No. 3 Kansas

1-1

13-2

No. 9 Oklahoma

1-1

13-2

Cincinnati

1-1

12-3

Iowa State

1-1

12-3

TCU

1-1

12-3

No. 25 Texas

1-1

12-3

UCF

1-1

10-4

No. 18 BYU

0-2

12-3

Oklahoma State

0-2

8-7

West Virginia

0-2

5-10

A year after the Wildcats made a deep run into March Madness making it to the Elite Eight. The Cats were eliminated by the Cinderella story team Florida Atlantic. Three of the five starters in that game were seniors who moved on, two of them to the NBA, and the fourth starter, Nae'Qwan Tomlin, transferred to Memphis. That leaves just one. Cam Carter.

Carter came into this season will the most experience in Jerome Tang's offense. He will be the key to Kansas State making another run in March Madness, but first, they have to get through the regular season. For the Wildcats to be successful this season, they need to imitate the women's team and their dominant defense.

The six-foot-three junior out of Louisiana leads the lead in points, field goals made, and points per game. Having the experience playing with players such as Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell will give Carter an edge to lead this team over his other teammates.

So going forward, how believable it is for Kansas State to win the Big 12 title or make a road for themselves to the promised land of March Madness. The Wildcats were picked to finish sixth in the preseason Big 12 polls. Their next two games are against the two teams ahead of them in the standings, Texas Tech and No. 14 Baylor.

The Wildcats will have to win against the beatable teams, which they have shown they can do so far in conference play. Not only did they win, but they had convincing wins over West Virginia and UCF. If they can win those games and keep the ones close enough with the big dogs like Houston and Kansas, the Cats just might sneak into the Big 12 Championship.

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