Men’s basketball seeks to bolster tournament hopes against Texas

Letting out a fierce cry, K-State foward Dean Wade dunks the ball during Saturday's game against Iowa State. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

On Wednesday night, the Kansas State men’s basketball team will be back inside Bramlage Coliseum, where they will be hosting the University of Texas.

The two teams last met on Feb. 7 in Austin, Texas, where K-State came out on top with a narrow 67-64 victory.

Junior forward Dean Wade led the way in scoring for K-State, posting 16 points. Junior guard Barry Brown scored 11 points and added six rebounds and assists.

Freshman forward Mohamed Bamba registered a double-double for Texas, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

K-State’s victory over the Longhorns halted a two-game skid and was a bright spot during a stretch that saw them lose three of four games.

While the Wildcats lost their very next game to Texas Tech, they have since won two in a row.

The first win of the two came on Valentine’s Day when they left Stillwater, Oklahoma, with an 82-72 win against Oklahoma State.

Brown showed up big for K-State, putting up 25 points in the win. It was the first game that he scored in double figures for nearly a month.

Brown and the Wildcats carried their momentum back to Manhattan when they faced Iowa State on Saturday. In a well-rounded performance, K-State prevailed against the Cyclones to win 78-66.

Wade, Brown and sophomore forward Xavier Sneed all scored in double figures.

Wade dropped 25 points and nearly had a triple-double, adding nine assists and eight rebounds to his stat line.

Brown scored 20 points and dished out three assists on the side.

Along with his 17 points, Sneed grabbed seven rebounds.

Shooting was a big problem for K-State during their recent struggles. In the last two games, though, they are shooting an average of 53 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range.

Texas has gone 2-3 in its last five games, with both wins coming against rival University of Oklahoma. It also fell to Baylor by just one point Feb. 12.

Bamba is easily the best player for the Longhorns. He averages 13.6 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game. He has registered 14 double-doubles this season. Bamba is also a shot-blocking machine, averaging 4 blocks per game.

Both teams are currently projected to be in the NCAA Tournament come March.

ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi has the Wildcats as the 11 seed in the Midwest region, matched up with the University of Florida. CBS Sports Bracketology expert Jerry Palm has them as the 10 seed in the West region, facing the University of Missouri.

Lunardi and Palm have the Longhorns as one of the “Last Four In,” playing in a “First Four” game.

Despite these projections, a win for either team will be instrumental in punching their ticket to the big dance.

K-State is currently 19-8 overall and 8-6 in Big 12 play, while Texas is 16-11 and 6-8 in the conference.

The game is scheduled to tip Wednesday at 8 p.m. and can be watched on ESPNU or listened to via the K-State Sports Network.

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