Tuesdays on The Salute

Tuesdays on The Salute

After losing to Texas on Sunday and finishing with a sub .500 record, the only way to salvage Big Dance dreams is to win the Big 12 Tournament this week and earn the automatic bid. This is the task at hand for K-State this week.

It’s even more daunting when you look at the history of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. Back when the Big 12 had 12 teams (crazy, right?), only the top 4 seeds earned byes in the first round. Which meant that finishing in the top 4 was crucial. Now the top 6 earn byes. The 7th through 10th seeds must play on the first day. No school has won the Big 12 Tournament while playing 4 games in 4 days. To borrow some info from a D. Scott Fritchen tweet on Sunday, #1 seeds have won 8 titles, #2 has won 4, #3 has won 5 and a #4 seed has won once. If you’re seeded 5-12 (or 10 now), good luck! Zero titles have been claimed by a team seeded lower than 4.

The odds are very much against the Wildcats this week. However, let me offer this bit of hope. It used to be that “basketball people” said no one could win 4 games in 4 days. That all changed in 2006, when a 7-9 team seeded 9th won the tournament of the best conference in the country. Gerry McNamara led Syracuse to a Big East title by winning 4 games in 4 days. Other teams have done it since the Orange, but I can’t remember. (Plus, the budget for the Salute doesn’t allow me to hire a research staff.)

If the Cats play to their potential, things are set up for them to make a run at the championship. Please, don’t close this post. Bear with me. In Kansas City, 4 schools (aside from K-State) could potentially have a big crowd in attendance. Three of those four schools play on the other half of the bracket (Iowa State, OU and OSU). K-State could/should beat TCU. Then the Wildcats get another chance at the depleted Jayhawks. K-State has done it once, so why not twice? A semi-final matchup against Baylor or West Virginia should have a pro-Wildcat crowd. Win that one and the Cats are in the championship. At that point, you hope Texas has made it all the way to the title game. Then there are 3 reasons K-State will beat Texas: (1) It’s so hard to beat a team 3 times in a single season. (2) The Longhorns big men will likely all suffer heart attacks while attempting to play 4 games in 4 days. (3) The crowd would be all Wildcats because we know there is no such thing as Texas basketball fans.[Tweet “If #KState plays to their potential, things are set up for them to make a run at the title.”]

So there you go. Beat TCU, depleted KU, WVU/Baylor and fan-less Texas then you cut down the nets. The Wildcats become the first Big 12 team seeded lower than 4 to win the tournament, destroy the 4 game in 4 days myth and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Go Cats! Beat TCU, KU, WVU/Baylor and Texas!

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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