No. 11/13 Kansas State (15-3, 4-1 Big 12) returns to the road on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa to face Iowa State (13-5, 3-2 Big 12) at Hilton Coliseum at 12:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big 12 Network with Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and Chris Piper (analyst) on the call. The team will attempt to rebound in one of the Big 12’s most hostile environments after seeing its season-long eight-game winning streak and 4-0 start to Big 12 play end in a 59-55 loss to No. 3/2 Kansas at home on Tuesday. The setback not only ended the school’s longest winning streak since winning 10 in a row from Nov. 21, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010, but also halted the Wildcats’ 12-game home winning streak and perfect 11-0 mark at Bramlage Coliseum this season. The Wildcats return to the road, where they have won six consecutive games, including five in a row in Big 12 play, dating back to last season. The road winning streak is the longest since K-State rattled off six straight road wins (all in Big 12 play) from Jan. 16 to Feb. 23, 2010. Saturday’s contest will be the team’s fourth true road game of the season after winning contests at George Washington (65-62) on Dec. 8, West Virginia (65-64) on Jan. 12 and TCU (67-54) on Jan. 16. K-State has improved its play on the road in the Big 12, posting a 26-24 record over the past seven seasons (which began in 2006-07) after winning just 10 of 80 road games in the league’s first 10 years (1997-2006). Iowa State heads into Saturday’s game as the Big 12 leader in scoring offense (78.9 ppg.), 3-point field goals (9.0 per game), assists (16.4) and rebounding (41.2 rpg.), while K-State is second in scoring defense (57.4 ppg.) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (27.6) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (39.9).
Saturday’s contest will be the fifth of eight games on the Big 12 Network. The league television package can be seen locally on KSHB-TV in Kansas City, KSAS-TV in Wichita and KSNT-TV in Topeka. The game can also seen in the Big 12 region on KTXA-TV in Dallas, KTVI-TV in St. Louis, KOCB-TV in Oklahoma City, WOI-TV in Des Moines, KMYT-TV in Tulsa, KXVO-TV in Omaha, KUBE-TV in Houston and KCWX-TV in San Antonio. All games on the Big 12 Network can be found on ESPN Full Court as well as ESPN3.com.
K-STATE IN THE POLLS
K-State is ranked in both major polls, jumping five spots in The Associated Press Top 25 poll to No. 11 and moving five spots in the USA Today Coaches poll to No. 13 on Monday. It marks the fifth straight week that the Wildcats have been ranked in the AP poll, while the No. 11 ranking is the highest in the AP poll since also placing 11th on Dec. 20, 2010.
Iowa State (13-5, 3-2 Big 12) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday, as the Cyclones dropped a road contest at Texas Tech, 56-51. The squad is a perfect 10-0 at home this season, including victories over BYU, Texas and West Virginia, while just 2-4 away from Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones are averaging a Big 12-best 78.9 points on 44.9 percent shooting, including 35.3 percent from 3-point range, while holding foes to 66.8 points on 40.4 percent shooting, including 30 percent from beyond the arc. One of the more balanced teams in the country, Iowa State has five players averaging in double figures led by senior transfer Will Clyburn (13.9 ppg.). Senior Tyrus McGee is one of the Big 12’s top reserves at 12.7 points per game and 2.7 treys per outing, while junior Melvin Ejim is the league’s best rebounder at 9.5 per games to go with 10.8 points per game. Head coach Fred Hoiberg has a 52-32 (.619) mark since returning to his alma mater in 2010 and is 2-2 all-time against K-State.