The Kansas State Wildcats need a big win against a ranked opponent right to pump up their NCAA Tournament resume. A victory at home against the Iowa State Cyclones would do the trick.
Who: #15 Iowa State Cyclones (20-5 Overall, 10-5 Big 12) vs. Kansas State Wildcats 19-9 Overall, 9-6 Big 12)
Where: Bramlage Coliseum; Manhattan, Kansas
When: Saturday 6pm
Coming up big down the stretch on the against Texas Tech, Bruce Weber and his K-State team return to Manhattan Saturday night to face #15 Iowa State Cyclones. Guard Will Spradling scored his 1,000 point on Tuesday to put himself as the 25th Kansas State Wildcat to reach the mark.
Marcus Foster led the way for the Wildcats with 17 points in the 60-56 win in Lubbock. K-State will be playing Iowa State for the second time this season. Wildcats fell on the road in Ames in the first matchup 81-75. The Wildcats are looking for their 20th win on the 2013-14 season.
Iowa State came out the gates firing on all cylinders at home which put Kansas State in a bad position having to once again come from behind. Now, the Wildcats have the home court advantage where they have been tough all season long.
The Cats defense will need to be sharp, and hungry from the start instead of waiting until their behind 10+ points. Iowa State shot 50 percent behind the 3-point line in the first meeting. Spradling, Foster, and Wesley Iwundu will their presence defending the perimeter better if the Cats are able to pull another upset.
Foster has been very steady in his first season at Kansas State. Foster put up 20 points in Ames and will need to be a factor all the way around. If Shane Southwell cannot play, another player will need to step up to contribute.
Nino Williams has had a pretty good stretch of games lately and it would be huge to see Will Spradling hit three point shot as well. K-State will need to be aggressive against the high scoring Cyclones.
Opponent: Iowa State
Iowa State blew past West Virginia in Ames in their last game 83-66; Georges Niang led the Cyclones with 24 points and 7 rebounds while DeAndre Kane added 17 points. The Cyclones are led my Head Coach Fred Hoiberg.
In the last meeting between the two teams Melvin Ejim scored 20 points and 9 rebounds in the 81-75 win for Iowa State. Cyclones are sitting second in the Big 12 Conference at 10-5 with and overall record of 22-5 on the season.
X-Factor: Thomas Gipson
Gipson will need to be more of a presence in this important game in Manhattan. Gipson was quiet for most of the game in Ames but now with getting ready almost for the Big 12 tournament and seeding anything can still happen for K-State.
The Kansas State Wildcats will need their big man to be a factor on both sides of the floor.