K-State basketball roundtable: NCAA Tournament material?

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Sophomore guard Barry Brown goes up for a shot on the during the basketball game against West Virginia in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 21, 2017. (File Photo by Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

The Kansas State men’s basketball team has missed out on March Madness the last two years. The Wildcats have looked like a tournament team at times this season but have stumbled as of late. The Collegian’s sports editor Scott Popp and writers Avery Osen, Brett Engle and Ryan Porter share their thoughts on if the team will be headed to the big dance.

If the season ended today, is K-State in the NCAA Tournament, and do you think they will end up making it at season’s end?

Scott: If the season ended today, I do not think the Wildcats would or should be included in the tournament. Their resumé just isn’t there at the moment. They have a nice win over West Virginia, but the Mountaineers have proved to be an up-and-down team that is prone to upsets. Besides that, they don’t have much going for them. The back-to-back losses this past week give me no reason to believe the Wildcats can finish off Big 12 at 8-10 or 9-9, which is what they would need to get to.

But with that being said, I do think the Wildcats will make the tournament in March. They are still a very hot and cold team, but they are much better than they have been the last two seasons. As long as they win the games they will be favored to win and get a win or two in the Big 12 Tournament, the Cats should be in.

Avery: I think if the season ended today the Wildcats should and would be in the NCAA Tournament. Although they have played a pretty light schedule outside of Big 12 play, to say they aren’t one of the best 64 is ridiculous. Have they looked bad at times? Yes. Have they looked really good at times? Yes. They’ve lost one game by double digits, and in the rest of their losses they have had leads in the second half in all of them.

They are a few turnovers away from being ranked and just a few more possessions from being in the top 15. They can prove a lot in the next two weeks when they play top-10 opponents, two on the road. If they can just split these games for the next four, I think they are a lock for the tournament.

Brett: I think if the season ended today, K-State is safely in the tournament. The Wildcats have a great nonconference record, though the competition wasn’t too high, and have performed well in Big 12 play with a signature win over West Virginia.

At season’s end, I think K-State will make the tournament. They have a tough stretch coming up but have the opportunity to end the season on a nice winning streak. With that, and hopefully picking up a win or two in the conference tournament, I think it’s safe to say the Wildcats will make the big dance.

Ryan: The Wildcats have proved they are able to compete with any team they face. As the season has progressed, their young talent continues to get comfortable in their roles and have stepped up to make big plays. Right now, they are a worthy team of making the tournament. They have endured some tough losses in their past few games, but nothing that defines them as a team. The Wildcats will get slept on, and other teams may not realize how lethal of a shooting team they can be.

I think they will make the tournament at the end of the year. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. They have the opportunity to show they can close a game out, especially against teams that got the best of them in the last minutes of the game, including Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State.

Their defense started off rock solid at the beginning of the season, but as the season has progressed, it has slowly turned the opposite direction. I am confident that they will be able to bring back that tough defensive mentality that shined during the KU game and be able to play a complete game.

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I am a senior in Journalism. I like sports and things.