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Tuesdays on The Salute

Tuesdays on The Salute

That’s a pretty good way to bounce back. K-State looked completely awful on Friday night on the road at Long Beach State. As previously stated on this website, it was ugly. Some people began to lose faith. People suggested that the Wildcats would have a performance in Maui like last year in Puerto Rice. Some people tweeted that the Cats would go 0-3 in the tournament. The sky was falling in Wildcatland!

I recall something similar last year, although last year it was after an atrocious tourney in San Juan. People thought K-State was headed to the Big 12 basement. Oh, how wrong that thought turned out to be. The Wildcats won 10 straight games and were one of the best in conference.

Thankfully, the Wildcat players don’t panic like fans do. K-State looked like the better team against Purdue on Monday afternoon. The 12-0 run at the end of the first half was dominant. The Cats hit big 3’s, hit open shots and played lockdown defense. It was fun to watch K-State basketball after a game on Friday that made me sick to my stomach.

10573174The win marks the start of a Maui Invitational that is bound to end up better than the last time K-State made a trip to the islands. I was at K-State in 1998 and remember being exciting to see K-State with a primetime game on ESPN (that was a rarity back then). The Cats fought hard but dropped a one-point game to a Big 10 foe in Indiana. The Wildcats followed it with a win against Arizona State. Hope was building. And then K-State was destroyed by Clemson. Ultimately, the season resulted in a NIT berth.

Obviously, this tournament will be better than 1998 if the Wildcats can beat Arizona. That would be huge. K-State faced Arizona before the Fiesta Bowl in 1997 and it wasn’t pretty. Mike and I watched from the top row of the McHale Center as our Wildcats lost 125-87. It will take a near flawless game from K-State to beat Arizona today and someone other than Marcus Foster will have to step up.

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Click to view full size

Regardless of what happens against Zona, the Cats will have a chance at another resume-building win. The game on Wednesday against either Pittsburgh or 15th ranked San Diego State will go a long way to preparing this team for a postseason run. I plan on enjoying these next two games and watching this young team grow. Even if K-State drops the next two games, it won’t spoil my Thanksgiving week. On Saturday, we get to feast on Jayhawks on the football field.

Go Cats! Beat Zona! Beat KU! (And whoever we play on Wednesday.)

About The Author

Seth is a 2000 graduate of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism at Kansas State. While in Manhattan he wrote for the Kansas State Collegian, reported for the Wildcat 91.9 and interned at KSNT-TV in Topeka. He teaches now, but still play with his journalism degree. Living in the middle of Missouri makes it harder to follow the Cats, but he wears enough purple to draw stares at the grocery store. Follow him on Twitter at @catbacker77

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