Sunflower Showdown Match-Up: #3 Kansas vs #11 Kansas State

By: K-State Athletics Email
By: K-State Athletics Email

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January 21, 2013

The game will be broadcast on the Big 12 Network with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) on the call. Riding a season-long eight-game winning streak, the Wildcats are 4-0 in Big 12 play for just the second time since the league’s inception in 1997 and for the first time since the 2007-08 team won its first five conference contests. The overall eight-game winning streak is the longest since the team won 10 in a row from Nov. 21, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010. Overall, K-State has posted 14 winning streaks of at least five games (including a 10-game streak from Nov. 21, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010) in the last seven seasons. The Wildcats are 11-0 at home this season, including a 10-0 mark at Bramlage Coliseum, and have won 12 straight at home dating back to last season. The 11-game winning streak ties for fourth-longest in the arena’s 25-year history, including the longest since K-State rattled off 14 consecutive wins (ties for the longest) from Jan. 15, 2011 to Jan. 7, 2012. Tuesday’s game will be the 274th meeting of the Sunflower Showdown presented by Dillons, including the 120th contested in Manhattan. It will be just the 16th time that teams have met when both are ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, including the 12th occasion when both are ranked among the nation’s Top 15.

K-STATE IN THE POLLS

K-State is ranked in both major polls, jumping five spots in The Associated Press Top 25 poll to No. 11 and moving five spots in the USA Today Coaches poll to No. 13. It marks the fifth straight week that the Wildcats have been ranked in the AP poll, while the No. 11 ranking is the highest in the AP poll since also placing 11th on Dec. 20, 2010. The program has now been ranked at least one week in each of the last four years, which had not happened since doing it six straight years from 1972-78.

THE OPPONENT

No. 4/4 Kansas (16-1, 4-0 Big 12) is riding a Big 12-best 15-game winning streak, including four straight in Big 12 play, since losing its first and only game against Michigan State (67-64) on Nov. 13. The Jayhawks are averaging 76 points on a Big 12-best 48.4 percent shooting, including 36.5 percent from 3-point range, while holding opponents to 59.3 points on 34.8 percent shooting, including 31.6 percent from beyond the arc. A balanced team with seven players averaging five or more points, redshirt freshman Ben McLemore paces three players in double figures with a 16.4 points per game average on 50.8 percent shooting, including 44.4 percent from 3-point range. Senior Jeff Withey leads the team in rebounding (8.2 rpg.) and blocked shots (4.6 bpg.) to go with a 13.1 points per game average, while senior Travis Releford averages 12.9 points on a team-best 61.3 percent shooting. Head coach Bill Self is eight wins shy of 500 wins for his career, including a stellar 285-54 (.841) mark in 10 seasons at Kansas.

LAST MEETING: 4/5 KANSAS 59, KANSAS STATE 53 [FEB. 13, 2012]

No. 4/5 Kansas won a defensive battle over K-State, 59-53, as both teams shot below 40 percent from the field in their last meeting on Feb. 13, 2012 at Bramlage Coliseum. Both squads had three players in double figures with the Wildcats led by senior Jamar Samuels (20) and the Jayhawks paced by Tyshawn Taylor (20). Jeff Withey nearly posted a triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and nine rebounds, while Rodney McGruder (12) and Will Spradling (10) also registered double-digits in the contest.

SERIES

This will be the 274th meeting between K-State and Kansas with the Jayhawks holding a 182-91 edge in a series that dates back to 1907. The Jayhawks are one of just two Big 12 teams (Oklahoma) to hold a series advantage over the Wildcats. Kansas is 74-45 all-time in games played in Manhattan, including a 23-2 mark at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats have won just three times (2006, 2008 and 2011) in the last 39 meetings of the Big 12 era, however, two of the wins (2008 and 2011) have come at home. Head coach Bruce Weber is 0-1 all-time against Kansas, while he is 1-2 against teams coached by Bill Self.


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