Kansas State v Kansas

Even with the upper hand, Kansas State can’t beat Kansas

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Kansas State, this is when it had to happen.

The Wildcats are in the Top 10, they’re heading to play a team that has lost their last three games, one of which was TCU, and had zero confidence in themselves. In the biggest rivalry game of the season for both teams.

You are going into a place that is, in fairness, nearly impossible to win in. I’ll give you that. But if there ever was a time to beat Kansas, a team that K-State has lost to seven of the last eight times, Monday night was it. Instead, it was an 83-62 throttling that restored all confidence necessary for the rest of the season in Lawrence.

The primer was perfect. Four straight wins over marginal-to-good talent in Texas, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma and the confidence that you took the Jayhawks to the brink at home, losing by four on Jan. 22.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Not the winning streak, not the confidence that comes with a no. 10 ranking, not the mentality that the Jayhawks are in a vulnerable state that is completely foreign to everyone on that roster.

And maybe that’s the reason. Maybe the Wildcats didn’t know what to do having the upper hand. It hasn’t been that way lately.

But they also had no answer for the Birthday Boy, Ben McLemore, who poured in 30 points, including six threes. They didn’t know what to do with Jeff Withey and his double-double talents and his five blocks.

Don’t mind the stat line for Kansas State. Rodney McGruder had 20, but a majority of that came after the issue was put to bed. He was 3-for-11 with eight points at the 11-minute mark in the second half, trailing by 20-plus. They got no bench support, either, with four points coming from the reserves.

After the 10-minute mark in the first half, it wasn’t really a game. A 47-29 halftime deficit showed that.

Bruce Weber is a great coach. He’ll win plenty of games in Manhattan, Kan. But I’m not sure that he’ll get a better shot to beat Kansas, let alone beat them in Allen Fieldhouse.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: NBCSports.com top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State