Editor’s note: Information in the graphic is as of Feb. 28. Kansas State’s record has been updated on the online edition after Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma.
No. 11 Kansas State 23-7 (10-6)
Head coach Jerome Tang righted the ship after ending a five-game road losing streak. The Wildcats look to carry on the momentum and end on a high note in the Big 12 and NCAA tournament. Kansas State had 22 fouls and 16 turnovers in their victory against Oklahoma State, but still managed to secure a 73-68 win. For K-State to continue thriving, ball security is key.
West Virginia 17-13 (6-11)
The Mountaineers have fought through a season of ups and downs. The team started conference play with a close loss to K-State on New Year’s Eve in overtime. Since then, West Virginia has seen success at home, defeating TCU and Iowa State. Though road wins have been hard to come by, this matchup could be a potential upset as the Mountaineers nearly defeated Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse in a nail-biter Saturday. With home-field advantage on Senior Night, the Mountaineers may have an extra edge.
Matchup to Watch: K-State vs. West Virginia guards
West Virginia boasts one of the best three-point shooting teams in the conference, ranking second only to Baylor in 3-point percentage. Their largest downfall statistically has been rebounding. If K-State can box out the Mountaineer interior and guard successfully on the wings, then the Wildcats should have success defensively. For West Virginia, guard Erik Stevenson has proven to be an all-around scoring threat. He will likely demand much of the Wildcat’s attention on defense.
K-State keeping defensive pressure on West Virginia could open more opportunities to create points off turnovers. That could be an advantage as long as they themselves don’t commit too many turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. Having solid performances, stars Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson should lead the Wildcats to a comfortable victory, provided that West Virginia shooters don’t break loose.
Forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin
Guard Markquis Nowell
Guard Erik Stevenson
Guard Kedrian Johnson
Prediction: K-State 70-66