Showing posts with label Sunflower Showdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunflower Showdown. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kansas - Kansas State Preview

The stakes are higher than normal for this year’s first installment of the Sunflower Showdown, as (3) Kansas and (11) Kansas State will be playing for sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Both schools are currently undefeated in league play.

Despite riding a nation-leading 15 game winning streak, the Jayhawks have struggled recently, squeaking out narrow victories over Iowa State and Texas. Kansas has struggled offensively, yet has been bailed out routinely by a great defensive effort led by the nation’s best shot blocker, Jeff Withey. Kansas does have the potential to get hot on offense, especially if freshman Ben McLemore, who leads the Jayhawks in scoring with 16.4 ppg, can get into a groove.

The Wildcats have won eight games in a row, and senior Rodney McGruder has been largely responsible for KSU’s recent surge. McGruder is averaging 15.5 ppg this season, and has been on a tear since conference play began. McGruder will most likely draw Kansas’ Travis Releford, who is one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire country. In the Wildcats two meetings with the Jayhawks last season, McGruder struggled, shooting only 9 of 30 from the floor and 1 of 7 from three. If KState is going to turn the tide against KU, he will have to find a way to be a factor offensively.

The Jayhawks are a ridiculous 22-2 in Bramlage Coliseum since it opened in 1987 and have won 44 of the last 47 meetings. While KU has struggled offensively lately, they still have more firepower than KState and could be due for a big game. The matchup between Releford and McGruder will be the key to this one. If McGruder can continue to play well, KState will have a strong shot at the upset. If Releford once again shuts McGruder down, it may likely be business-as-usual for the Jayhawks in Manhattan.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

KU Falls to KState in Manhattan

In a Sunflower Showdown that was supposed to be a cakewalk for KU, KState played like its season was on the line while the Jayhawks looked like it simply expected to walk all over KState like it did in Allen Fieldhouse. KState was able to salvage its disappointing season and make a strong case for a NCAA tournament berth with a strong win over number one ranked KU.

The final result wasn't pretty: KState beat KU 84-68 in a game that was never in doubt. KU easily played its worst game of the season, while KState turned in a performance that was somewhat shocking given how poorly it had played in Big 12 play. KState got an insane performance from senior Jacob Pullen, who torched the Jayhawks for 38 points.

Before KU fans all jump in the Kansas river, just remember: KU is not healthy and easily played its worst ball of the year. KU is missing Thomas Robinson due to injury, and star freshman Josh Selby barely played due to a stress fracture in his foot. The loss puts KU at 10-2 in the conference, and it will likely see its ridiculous streak of consecutive Big 12 championships end at six. However, this could be a very dangerous team in March, especially when healthy. KU had beaten KState 42 in its last 44 meetings, and it is hard not to avoid a road bump every once in a while. KU will recover, while KState fans can't help but wonder how its team's season would have gone had the Wildcats played every game like Monday night's contest.

Monday, February 14, 2011

K-State's Season Comes Down to Tonight's Game

It is officially do or die time in Manhattan. If K-State has any chance to salvage its embarrassing season, one that started with the Wildcats ranked third in the nation and picked to win the Big 12, it has to defeat the number one ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

After losing to Colorado on Saturday, Joe Lunardi has placed the Wildcats on life support in his current NCAA projections. K-State is currently listed as an 11th seed and falling fast, a far cry from the lofty expectations it once had. In the current Big 12 standings, KSU sits behind Colorado (who swept the Wildcats this season) in a four way tie for seventh place with Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Everything is on the line tonight. KU is as weak as it has been all season on paper, missing starting guard Josh Selby and key reserve Thomas Robinson due to injury. Unfortunately for K-State, the Jayhawks have been playing lights out recently. A win over KU would give Frank Martin's team a signature win over the nation's top-ranked team, while a loss all but mathematically knocks the Wildcats out of the big dance. Its time to see what K-State is made of.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Sunflower Showdown is This Thursday in Lawrence

Kansas Jayhawks play Kansas State Wildcats in Lawrence

For the one hundredth year in a row, the University of Kansas Jayhawks will play the Kansas State University Wildcats in football this Thursday night in Lawrence. The Jayhawks got an extra week of practice after a bye giving them more time to work on game plan, or go into a severe depression after getting run out of Waco, TX last Saturday by the Baylor Bears. The Jayhawks are 2-3 overall, and 0-1 in the Big 12. The Wildcats come into this one licking wounds of their own having been abused at home by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. As bad as Kansas has looked this season, you can always throw out the record books when it comes to the "Sunflower Showdown" (God, what a stupid name). I would even say they have a chance.

The all time series record between these two fine institutions is 65 for KU, 37 for K-State, and 5 ties. More recently the series has been pretty even having split the last eight meetings, but KU has won the last three meetings in Lawrence. Kansas State has turned in the better body of work thus far this season, but has not ventured past the friendly confines of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, this will be the first road test of the year for the Wildcats. Vegas has the Cats favored by 2.5 points. I'd lay the points in this one, Kansas State wins by a touchdown.

The game will be widely televised on Fox Sports Net regional carriers at 6:30PM Thursday Night, although I can't imagine it will have a large audience outside the State of Kansas.


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