Bubble Watch: Kansas State Wildcats Save Tournament Hopes

By Taylor Sturm
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 is the most difficult conference in college basketball when it comes to national rankings throughout the season, and that shows with the number of teams that are competing for a spot in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

At this point, any loss to a team that’s not the Iowa State Cyclones or the Kansas Jayhawks means that a team will likely miss out on the Big Dance. One of the teams on the edge of 2014 NCAA Tournament contention is the Kansas State Wildcats, who were able to survive a tough game on the road against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Four of Kansas State’s starters scored double digits; Wildcats’ guard Marcus Foster led all scorers with 17. However, the story of the game was the contribution of Texas Tech’s bench; every single player who stepped on the court for the Red Raiders scored compared to just four points by one player for Kansas State. Fortunately, the Wildcats were able to hold on and defeat the Red Raiders 60 – 56.

The win brings Kansas State’s overall record to 18 – 9, but a few bad losses, coupled with dropped games to mid-level Big 12 teams, could hinder their NCAA Tournament chances. With three remaining games, it’s crunch time for the Wildcats. Unfortunately, no stretch of games is easy in the Big 12.

Kansas State faces No. 15 Iowa State and then two 2014 NCAA Bubble teams in the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Baylor Bears. The Wildcats must win two of the last three games, which is very unlikely given their in-conference history. Kansas State’s 2014 NCAA Tournament dreams may come down to a deep run in the Big 12 playoffs.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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