Kansas St.-Texas Preview
Back in the Top 25 after adding to a lengthy home win streak, Kansas State will try to aid its chances of staying in the rankings by avoiding a repeat of its latest road game.
The No. 22 Wildcats will also attempt to add to their recent dominance against Big 12 rival Texas, but the Longhorns will be seeking their fourth straight win and second over a ranked opponent in as many games Tuesday night.
Kansas State (14-4, 4-1) topped then-No. 25 Oklahoma 72-66 last Tuesday before routing West Virginia 78-56 on Saturday. The Wildcats held both to under 35.0 percent shooting after allowing then-No. 18 Kansas to shoot 56.1 percent in an 86-60 drubbing Jan. 11 that ended a 10-game win streak and pushed them out of the Top 25.
Kansas State outshot West Virgina 54.9 percent to 32.7, and Thomas Gipson and Shane Southwell each scored 20 as the Wildcats won their 10th in a row at home.
"We have got to improve by keeping our solid defense and getting better on offense," coach Bruce Weber said. "If we can do that, we can stay in the (Big 12) race. It is going to be a tough task."
The Wildcats will play their next two games on the road, facing No. 16 Iowa State on Saturday. First, they'll try to earn their seventh win in eight matchups against Texas (14-4, 3-2).
Kansas State will also seek a fourth straight victory in the series but will face a Longhorns squad that's two wins shy of matching its total from 2012-13, its first losing season in 15 years. Texas has also gone 2-2 against ranked opponents this season, matching the number of victories from its prior 22 matchups.
"They are a good team - way better than a year ago. Coach (Rick) Barnes has them playing well," Weber said. "We are going to have to play good basketball. We had a rude awakening at Kansas but now we have another chance on the road."
The Longhorns earned their first win over a top-10 foe in three seasons Saturday with an 86-76 victory against then-No. 8 Iowa State. Leading scorer Jonathan Holmes (13.1 points per game) matched a career high with 23.
"We feel like we are as good as anybody when we put our best on the floor," said sophomore guard Javan Felix, who had 17 points despite missing 12 of 17 shots.
Texas will face its fifth ranked opponents in nine games Tuesday and has matchups with No. 24 Baylor and No. 8 Kansas in its next two.
Kansas State earned its three wins over the Longhorns last season by an average of 18.4 points. Gipson made 12 of 16 shots in the two regular-season matchups, averaging 13.5 points, before being held to three points on 0-for-4 shooting in 15 minutes of a 66-49 victory in the Big 12 tournament March 14.
Holmes has scored a combined three points in 37 minutes and missed all six shots in two career home games against the Wildcats.
Kansas State has won four of five in Austin, including an 81-69 victory Feb. 23 as the 13th-ranked team in the nation.