Expected to be a solid 2015 NCAA Tournament team, the Kansas State Wildcats floundered early in non-conference play. The Wildcats lost six non-conference games, including losses to five teams that, at least in preseason, weren’t expected to go to the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Long Beach State, the Tennessee Volunteers, the Georgia Bulldogs, Texas Southern and the Pittsburgh Panthers.
With a blowout loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the opening game of Big 12 play, it seemed like Kansas State wouldn’t make the Big Dance at all. However, the Wildcats have since gone 5-1 in conference play, with wins over the ranked Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears.
Next up is a crucial game against a very talented team, the West Virginia Mountaineers, who Kansas State will face at home on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
West Virginia barely scraped past the TCU Horned Frogs at home after getting blown out by the Texas Longhorns and will be looking to form some kind of positive momentum moving forward in the last few weeks of the season. WVU entered conference play with just one loss, but they appear to be far from the elite teams in the Big 12.
Kansas State needs to win this game more than West Virginia, but the Mountaineers boast one of the best all-around offenses in college basketball while also leading the nation in steals per game. This is a close game between two very similar teams, but the Wildcats should come out on top thanks to playing at home. Watch for Marcus Foster to have a huge night, as Kansas State moves closer to the 2015 NCAA Tournament bubble.
Prediction: Kansas State 78, West Virginia 75