Fridays at The Salute

Fridays at The Salute

It’s opening day around the country for Men’s basketball programs. Three hundred fifty one programs are still undefeated and everyone feels like it’s their year. Everyone’s goal is to win the conference and make the NCAA tournament field.

Only sixty eight teams will make it while one hundred twenty five all think they have a legitimate shot on Selection Sunday. I know how those fans feel. I was here for the Wooldrige years where I was naive enough to believe that a 6-10 Wildcat team may get in because they had a win at Kansas or a win against a top-ten Texas squad. It was just disappointment year in and year out.

I know I’ve talked about it before, but basketball might be my favorite season. Call me crazy, but don’t call me a Jayhawk. I love football season and I am totally “bought in” during the season, but when basketball rolls around I am ready.

I used to wait outside the Bramlage doors thirty minutes before tip to get front row, center court seats during the Wooly years. Then Bob Huggins came to town and the wait outside became a two hour wait. Then Beasley came and the wait grew longer. Not just for the Sunflower Showdown, but for every game.

Frank Martin kept the momentum going after Huggins and Beasley left, but what Bruce Weber is doing is exceeding many fan’s expectations. Far fewer superstars, but the team is still a consistent winner, making the tournament in each of his two seasons in Manhattan. Last year’s team was held together by a strong freshmen class, duct tape and bailing wire.

As Bruce Weber has improved the status of Kansas State basketball, a team to the south is getting stronger and more consistent, too. Wichita State has worn the glass slipper and took top tier teams to the wire several times in March.

I know you are relived that the election is over, but this may be the year this state changes from a red state to a purple state. Both parties still have to fight off the growing independent challenging the traditional views of this basketball state.

Early exit polls show Kansas in the lead, but not all precincts have reported. I am heading to the voter’s booth every single home game this season and I am punching the purple ticket. This is the season that Kansas flips to purple. The youth, the talent the depth along the front line and solid coaching will change the status quo.

About The Author

Ryan was born and raised around the “Little Apple”, and is a life-long Kansas State fan and 2007 graduate. He is also a lover of all things Tallgrass Brewing. Was once quoted on November 11, 2006 as saying, "If we beat Texas, I will get a Powercat tattooed on my ass!"

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