Men’s basketball to take on Baylor Bears Monday

At the Octagon of Doom on Saturday night, junior guard Barry Brown looks for an opening to the basket against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. The Wildcats beat at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Meg Shearer | Collegian Media Group)

This last week saw the Kansas State men’s basketball team rack up momentous wins against two top-25 ranked teams, and the Wildcats are eager to carry this momentum into their next game against Baylor tonight.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats knocked off the then-No. 4 University of Oklahoma in an impressive fashion, 87-69.

After a few days off, the Wildcats put down then-No. 24 TCU in a more competitive game on Saturday, with the final score being 73-68.

Now, K-State will travel to Waco, Texas, tonight to face the Baylor Bears. It will be the first time the two teams have met during the 2017-18 season.

The Wildcats last visited Waco in February 2017. The Bears were ranked second in the nation at the time, and the Wildcats barely prevailed, 56-54.

Earlier that season when the two clashed in Manhattan, K-State fell to Baylor 77-68 in January 2017.

The two teams would meet again in March 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri, for a Big 12 Tournament game. The Wildcats triumphed over the Bears for the second straight time, 70-64. Baylor was ranked ninth in the country at the time, and the win was attributed by many as the cause for K-State’s bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Baylor head coach Scott Drew has been in the position since 2003. In seven of his 14 seasons, Drew has led his team to the NCAA Tournament, including two Elite Eight and Sweet 16 appearances. Drew’s overall record at Baylor is 277-180, and he is the program’s all-time wins leader.

In Baylor’s most recent game, the Bears just missed out on an upset victory over then-No. 10 KU, falling 70-67.

Baylor has had a tough season, sitting at 12-7 overall, and just 2-5 in the Big 12 conference. While the Bears are 9-2 at home, they are winless on the road with an 0-5 away record. Of their last four games, they have won just one.

The team’s leading scorer is guard Manu Lecomte, who averages 16.5 points per game. Forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. is nearly averaging a double-double, with 15.3 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game.

The K-State men’s team has been doing well as of late. The Wildcats are now 14-5 overall, and 4-3 in the Big 12 after sitting just 2-3 in the conference a week ago.

Since the 16-point loss to Texas Tech on Jan. 6, the Wildcats have gone 3-1, and could have easily been 4-0 as they lost to KU by just one point.

In conference play, junior guard Barry Brown has averaged 16.9 points per game, highlighted by a 38-point performance against Oklahoma State.

Junior forward Dean Wade has also been stepping up, and is averaging 15.6 points per game along with 6.5 rebounds per game during conference play. Wade has had back-to-back 20 point games, scoring 21 against Oklahoma and 20 against TCU.

K-State will tip off against Baylor at 8 p.m. tonight, and the game will air on ESPNU. ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gives the Bears a 68.2 percent chance of winning.

I’m Jarrett Whitson, the sports editor this semester. I’m from Blue Rapids, KS, a town of just over 1,000 people about 40 miles north of Manhattan. I’m a junior in Public Relations, and a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. I love playing and talking about sports— especially college football