Wildcats can turn it around at home


“We must protect this house.”
The Under Armor campaign slogan has never meant more to the K-State men’s basketball team then it does right now. The Wildcats are in the midst of a tough three game losing streak and are searching for ways to right the ship.
No team in the Big 12 has had a tougher start to the conference schedule than the Wildcats.
It all started when the No. 6 ranked Oklahoma Sooners came into Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 10. The Wildcats started the game strong but were unable to contain All-American Blake Griffin.
Griffin ended up going for 29 points and 15 rebounds in the 61-53 Sooner victory.
The emotional highs and lows the Wildcats went through in that game really took a toll on the team. And it didn’t get any easier for them, because just a few days later they had to travel the short distance to play the defending National Champion Kansas Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse.
K-State was not ready to play a game of that magnitude after losing a game many players and fans felt the Wildcats should have won. KU then proceeded to run the Wildcats right out of the building. K-State did cut the Jayhawks’ lead to three, but KU led most of the game by double digits.
Losing those two games was no big deal and probably was expected by many people when the schedule first came out. It was not the end of the world to lose to two of the top teams in the Big 12.
But it seemed the team would not let those games go, and the result was Saturday’s game against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers dominated on their home court and at one point during the game led the Wildcats by 30 points.
Nebraska is a good team, but there is no way they should have beaten K-State that badly. They were picked to finish behind K-State in the preseason poll.
Now the Wildcats are facing an 0-3 start to conference play and if they lose Wednesday night to the No. 21 Baylor Bears, K-State can just kiss its NCAA Tournament hopes good bye.
One good thing about facing another top 25 team is that the game is in Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday night. Before the Oklahoma game, K-State was 9-0 in home games this season.
If the K-State fans can replicate the atmosphere on Wednesday night and every other home game for the rest of the season that was there during the Oklahoma game, the Wildcats should come out victorious.
And if the Wildcats win the rest of their home games, it would give them seven conference victories. As long as the team can win some road games, the Wildcats have a chance of making the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
It all starts Wednesday night. So come out and be loud because it’s going to be a fun night.
But don’t do it because I told you so. Do it because this team needs its fans now more then ever.

Brad Dornes is a senior in print journalism. Please send comments to sports@spub.ksu.edu