Kansas St.-TCU Preview
Following a nine-game winning streak, including a pair of victories over ranked opponents, Kansas State has entered the AP Poll for the first time this season.
The 25th-ranked Wildcats will try to make it 10 straight wins for the first time in four years on Tuesday night at TCU.
Kansas State's biggest win during the streak was also its most recent one, a 74-71 upset of then-No. 6 Oklahoma State on Saturday. Freshman Marcus Foster led the way with 17 points, while Nino Williams scored a season-high 15 off the bench, including the game-clinching free throws with 5.7 seconds to go.
Thomas Gipson added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
"What can you say? It is just a great win a gutsy win by our guys. They just kept battling," Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said. "We are 1-0 in the Big 12, but it is who is consistent over the long haul that ends up winning it and that has to be one of our goals, to stay consistent.
"Now we just have to worry about TCU at TCU on Tuesday, which will not be easy."
The Wildcats (11-3, 1-0) let opponents shoot 44.0 percent from the field during their 2-3 start, but they've limited foes' good looks quite consistently ever since. Kansas State's opponents are shooting 36.9 percent over the past nine games, including 25.2 percent from 3-point range.
Opponents are shooting 26.0 percent from beyond the arc this season against the Wildcats, the fifth-worst percentage in the nation.
"(We) have an extreme amount of confidence knowing that we can beat anybody in the country with what we do on defense," Gipson said.
That defensive prowess has helped make up for the league's worst offense. The Wildcats average 67.9 points, last in the Big 12, and their shooting percentages - 41.4 overall, 29.5 from 3-point range - are also last.
A victory will give Kansas State its longest winning streak since a 10-game run Nov. 22, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010.
To top TCU (9-4, 0-1), the Wildcats will need to slow Kyan Anderson, who leads the Horned Frogs in scoring (16.2 points per game) and assists (5.2 per game). Anderson struggled in the team's last contest, scoring just 12 points before fouling out of a 74-69 loss to West Virginia on Saturday.
Anderson didn't have any issues when TCU last met Kansas State on March 5 in Manhattan. He went 10 of 15 from the field and scored 29 points, his most-ever in a conference game, but the then-No. 9 Wildcats won 79-68.
Kansas State shot 51.3 percent - 45.7 from beyond the arc - in sweeping both meetings.