PREVIEW: As Wildcats and Jayhawks meet for the second time this season, K-State looks to avoid another loss

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Junior guard David Sloan dribbles the ball up court during the game against the Universtiy of Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 21. The Wildcats fell to the Jayhawks with a final score of 81-60. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

Ten games ago, the Kansas State Wildcats (9-19, 2-13 Big 12) were in Allen Fieldhouse and felt the wrath of the Kansas Jayhawks (25-3, 14-1) losing in a 81-60 blowout.

With a 1-9 record, K-State will try their best to hold off the Jayhawks as Kansas makes the 87 mile journey to Bramlage Coliseum with hopes to sweep the season series, and force the ‘Cats into their ninth straight loss.

In the first meeting, all eyes were turned to the dying seconds of the game, where a brawl involving both teams broke out and stole the headlines — overshadowing the play of Kansas freshman guard Christian Braun. Braun scored a career-high 20 points knocking down a game-high six threes.

K-State transfer junior guard David Sloan also had a K-State career-high, knocking down 17 points, and surging as the main offensive powerhouse.

The Sunflower Showdown will be one of the least anticipated games this rivalry has seen for awhile.

Kansas enters this contest as the No. 1 team in the nation after taking down the previous No. 1 team Baylor one week ago.

As K-State’s season has been thrown out the window, a win in this game would be a great ending to what was a poor season performance.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

KANSAS:

Senior center Udoka Azubuike: “Dok ” is arguably one of the best bigs in the country. At 7’0” and 270 pounds, this big gets it done down low. Azubuike is averaging a double-double, scoring 13.4 points per game, while also pulling down 10.4 rebounds a game. And to put a cherry on-top, Azubuike sends an average of 2.6 shots into the seats.

Junior guard Marcus Garrett: What does this dude not do? Garrett is the jack-of-all-trades, however, he is known across the country as a top-defender. There aren’t many stats on the box score that champion a defender, but the “steals” category can do some justice. Garrett averages 1.9 steals a game, and you should trust me when I say this guy can guard.

KANSAS STATE:

Transfer junior guard David Sloan: With inconsistent play this season from redshirt junior guard Cartier Diarra, Sloan has been able to showcase his point guard abilities. Sloan has low averages in most categories on the year, but that is primarily due to the low minutes he experienced early in the season. The guard is shooting 39.6 percent from the floor, while averaging 19.3 minutes of play for the ‘Cats. If Sloan can get some early shots to fall and keep his man in front of him, he might become the spark this struggling Wildcat team needs.

Senior forward Makol Mawien: The play of Mawien this season is not what any fan would have expected. It’s not that Mawien is the only Wildcat player struggling this season, but he is one of the most surprising. With the strong post-play that the Jayhawks utilize, Mawien’s inside presence will be crucial to K-State’s success on Saturday. If Mawien can hit his averages, play with high-intensity and stay out of foul trouble, he will be the player to watch.

Bramlage Coliseum is ready and so are the Manhattan faithful. Saturday afternoon with tip-off at 12:30 p.m., K-State will host Kansas on CBS.

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