Memphis leaves Big Dance bubble; who’s still sweating?

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One day until Selection Sunday and we still have some unanswered questions.  Here’s the latest bubble update through 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, including Memphis’ thrilling comeback win over UTEP in the Conference USA title game.

Bubble Banter highlights the teams we believe are on the NCAA Bubble. If a team isn’t listed, they aren’t a bubble team at the time of the update. RPI and SOS data is credited to CollegeRPI.com.

UPDATED: Saturday, March 12 | 1:15 p.m. ET

Automatic Bids (14): UNC-Ashville (Big South), Morehead State (OVC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Indiana State (MVC), Butler (Horizon), Wofford (Southern), Arkansas Little Rock (Sun Belt), Gonzaga (West Coast), Memphis (C-USA) Old Dominion (Colonial), Oakland (Summit), St. Peter’s (MAAC), Long Island (NEC), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Bucknell (Patriot)

Total Spots (68): Number of total teams in the Field.

  • Projected Locks (29): Teams who project to have secured a spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
  • Should Be In (7): These teams are teams in solid position to receive an at-large bid.
  • Bubble: (23): Teams projected to be at or near the cutline for being selected as at-large candidates.
  • Spots available (8): Number of projected available openings for the bracket.
  • Leaving the Bubble: Colorado State, Memphis, Washington State
  • Joining the Bubble: None
  • RPI and SOS: RPI and SOS data are updated through 1:00 p.m. ET on March 12.
Atlantic 10
Locks: Xavier, Temple | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Richmond
  • Richmond (25-7 | 14-3) | RPI: 56 | SOS: 141 | – The Spiders closed with 10 wins in 12 games – their only losses to Xavier and Temple. The win over Purdue continues to be a major helping point, and a victory over VCU is looking better again. Because the Spiders suffered lopsided losses against Xavier and Temple in their regular-season meetings, do they need to beat one of them in the A-10 tournament? We’ll see. Today’s matchup with Temple could be huge.
ACC
Locks: Duke, North Carolina | Should Be In: Florida State | Bubble: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech
  • Boston College (20-12 | 10-8) | RPI:58 | SOS: 38 | – BC ended its season with a lopsided loss to Clemson. Highlights are an early win over Texas AM and a sweep of Virginia Tech. Lowlights are a 1-8 mark vs. Top 50 teams, plus a home loss to Yale. Eagles have 7 Top 100 wins, but four of those are VT and Maryland. It’s going to be a long wait until Sunday night.
  • Clemson (21-10 | 10-7) | RPI: 53 | SOS: 72 | – The Tigers rolled over BC Friday and into the ACC semis. The victory also gave Clemson a sweep of Boston College – for what it’s worth. The Tigers may still have work to do. Their best win is Florida State and they are 1-6 vs. Top 50 RPI teams. Up next is North Carolina – the type of marquee win the Tigers lack. Outside the ACC, Clemson’s best win is Charleston. They do have 9 Top 100 wins, but that can sometimes be deceiving. Clemson has losses to Old Dominion, Michigan, and South Carolina to go along with hiccups against NC State and Virginia.
  • Virginia Tech (21-10 | 11-7) | RPI: 64 | SOS: 86 | – Beating Florida State Friday was a must. Now, the Hokies get another shot at Duke. Do they need it? Will be a close call. Beating the Blue Devils would probably secure it. The Hokies entered the ACC Tournament squarely on the cutline and continue to hover. Besides Duke, the Hokies beat Florida State twice, plus have a win over Penn State. Being swept by Boston College and losing their only game to Clemson are concerns. They were also swept by Virginia, lost at Georgia Tech, and are 4-6 in true road games. VT is 2-4 vs. the Top 50 and 8-7 vs. the Top 100.
BIG EAST
Locks: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova, Louisville, St. John’s West Virginia, Cincinnati | Should Be In: Marquette | Bubble: None
 
BIG 10
Locks: Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State
  • Illinois (19-13 | 9-10) | RPI: 46| SOS: 16 | – The Illini blew a lead on Michigan and bowed out in their first Big Ten tournament game. While the general feeling is the Illini will make it, their outlook would have been more solid with a second win over the Wolverines. Good wins include N. Carolina, at Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Michigan State. Down the stretch, however, Illinois went 5-7 in its last 12 games. Strong SOS numbers and 11 Top 100 wins are a plus. The loss at UIC is a major sore point – along with a loss at Indiana.
  • Michigan State (18-13 | 11-9) | RPI: 38 | SOS: 9 | The Spartans made a statement by pounding Purdue Friday night and certainly helped their case. Next is Penn State; the Lions may need one more to stay in the bracket. MSU is hoping its strong SOS will be rewarded; we’ve seen it in the past. The Spartans are just 5-12 vs. Top 50 teams, but 10-12 vs. the Top 100. They are 15-13 vs. the Top 200. MSU might be able to absorb a loss to PSU, but it’s hard to move the Spartans completely off the bubble. Maybe by tonight.
  • Michigan (19-12 | 10-9) | RPI: 48 | SOS: 17 | Michigan played well down the stretch and rallied to beat Illinois Friday afternoon in Indy. Thanks to Clemson’s surge, the Wolverines have 5 Top 50 wins at the moment and may very well have played themselves in. Next up is Ohio State. Find a way to beat the Buckeyes and any doubts will end. Outside the league, Michigan’s best win is at Clemson, although they did beat Harvard at home. In the Big 10, Michigan swept Michigan State and Penn State. Their only “bad” loss was at Indiana in early January.
  • Penn State (18-13 | 11-9) | RPI: 42 | SOS: 5 | The Nittany Lions staved off elimination by beating Indiana Thursday and then upset Wisconsin Friday night in a low-scoring game. Penn State has three solid victories at home (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State) to go along with a second win over the Badgers. The Lions are a 3-8 on the road – which could still be a problem. Despite a solid SOS, PSU’s best non-conference victories are Fairfield and Duquesne. Will that be a factor? Plus, they lost at Virginia Tech. They are 4-9 vs. the Top 50 and 9-12 vs. the Top 100.
BIG 12
Locks: Kansas, Texas, Texas AM, Missouri, Kansas State | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Colorado
  • Colorado (20-13 | 10-9) | RPI: 65 | SOS: 47 | – Beating Kansas State for a third time may be enough to push – and keep – Colorado in the Field of 68. But given their no-show in non-conference play (No. 323 SOS), we can’t take the Buffaloes off the bubble. CU lost to Georgia and New Mexico, along with three sub-100 RPI losses (San Francisco, Oklahoma, Iowa State). The big upside is an 8-10 mark vs. the Top 100 including a win over Texas.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Locks: BYU, San Diego State, UNLV | Should Be In: None | Bubble: New Mexico
  • New Mexico (20-12 | 9-8) | RPI: 66 | SOS: 77 | – The Lobos made a strong surge to close the season, but will probably fall a bit short after losing to BYU in the Mountain West semis. Yes, the Lobos beat BYU twice and Colorado outside the league, but UNM’s non-conference SOS (No. 255) is still a problem. UNM is 5-8 vs. the Top 100
PAC 10
Locks: Arizona | Should Be In: UCLA, Washington | Bubble: USC
  • USC (19-14 | 11-9) | RPI: 67 | SOS: 39 | – Credit the Trojans for making a late charge. USC piled up some solid wins (Texas early and at Tennessee included), but they also have 6 sub-100 RPI losses – including 3 sub-200 losses (TCU, Oregon State, Bradley). They were also swept by Oregon. Such a high number of bad losses – throughout the season – will probably keep USC a little short. How Selection Committee members view the information remains to be seen.
SEC
Locks: Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt | Should Be In: Tennessee | Bubble: Georgia, Alabama
  • Georgia (21-12 | 10-8) | RPI: 45 | SOS: 40 | – Losing to Alabama a second time doesn’t help, but Georgia has one big advantage on other bubble teams – no bad RPI losses. Of their 11 losses, 9 came to teams ranked 35 or higher in the RPI. Outside the league, Georgia beat Colorado but lost to Xavier and Temple. Georgia isn’t safe, but their profile isn’t that much different than Marquette’s. If the Committee gives Marquette credit for “good” losses, they have to do the same for Georgia, right? The Bulldogs non-conference slate is slightly better, too.
  • Alabama (21-10 | 13-4) | RPI: 77 | SOS: 127 | – What will the Selection Commitee do with Alabama? That’s a big topic of debate. After rallying to beat Georgia a second time, Alabama has 13 SEC wins – including Kentucky and at Tennessee. Outside the SEC, Alabama’s profile is very questionable – and could be why the Tide still need another win over Kentucky to stay in the field. Their non-conference SOS ranks No. 283 and the Tide’s best non-league win is Lipscomb. They also have early losses to Iowa and Seton Hall.
BEST OF THE REST
Locks: NONE | Should Be In: George Mason, Old Dominion | Bubble: Missouri State, Memphis, UAB, St. Mary’s, Utah State
  • Missouri State (25-8 | 17-4) | RPI: 41 | SOS: 125 | – Long wait coming up for the Bears who lost to Indiana State in the finals of the MVC tournament. With no Top 50 wins and just a 3-6 mark vs. the Top 100, Missouri State has to hope the Selection Committee values an outright MVC regular season title. Odds aren’t promising, given the current bubble situation.
  • UAB (22-7 | 12-5) | RPI: 30 | SOS: 79 | – UAB finished early than hoped after losing in the C-USA quarterfinals to East Carolina. The Blazers ended with a regular-season C-USA title, but an 0-4 mark vs. Top 50 teams. UAB did beat VCU and has a host of mid-level wins against league teams. Will that be enough with a 9-5 road record? Being swept by Memphis won’t help. Like Missouri State, the Blazers may come up just short.
  • VCU (23-11 | 14-7) | RPI: 51 | SOS: 86 | – VCU rallied to beat Drexel and then upset George Mason in the CAA tournament, but fell short in the title game with Old Dominion. The Rams have a neutral-court win over UCLA and also won at Wichita State in the BracketBuster. VCU is 3-5 vs. the Top 50 and 8-8 vs. the Top 100. A loss at UAB could come into play. Has VCU done enough? It could depend on how other bubble teams perform.
  • St. Mary’s (23-8 | 12-4) | RPI: 44 | SOS: 99 | – The Gaels lost to Gonzaga in the WCC title game and now have an anxious wait until Selection Sunday. An early win over St. John’s helps, and St. Mary’s split with Gonzaga in the regular season. The rest of the resume is light, however, (1-4 vs. Top 50 teams and 3-6 vs. the Top 100). A home loss to Utah State could also pose a problem. In an interesting note, SMC beat Weber State Friday to end its season.
  • Utah State (28-3 | 16-1) | RPI: 18 | SOS: 123 | – The Aggies thoroughly dominated the WAC and may very well have done enough. Still, with a very light 2-2 mark vs. Top 100 teams – and one of those being Long Beach State (No. 86) – we can’t assume USU is a lock. Only thing left for USU is beating Boise State in the WAC final – thus erasing any concerns.

No. 1 South Carolina wins 28th straight 87-69 over ‘Cats

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dawn Staley’s pleased South Carolina had made its once-lopsided series with UConn more competitive the past few years.

She hopes her top-ranked team can accomplish another milestone when the teams meet for a top-five showdown on Sunday.

“It still stands true that we haven’t won up there,” Staley said.

Aliyah Boston had 14 points and 14 rebounds as South Carolina prepared for the top-five showdown with an 87-69 victory over Kentucky on Thursday night.

The Gamecocks (10-0 Southeastern Conference) improved to 22-0 and won their 28th straight, a run that included a 64-49 victory over the Huskies in Minneapolis last April to win the national championship.

Staley had lost her first seven games as South Carolina coach against UConn. The Gamecocks have won three of the past four matchups since.

“This particular class committed to each other,” Staley said. “When you have that type of commitment and you just want to win, you find yourself winning some games that you haven’t won before.”

Against Kentucky, reigning AP player of the year Boston extended her school mark with her 75th career double-double and moved within 11 of the SEC record of 86 games with a double-double held by LSU great Sylvia Fowles.

Things weren’t perfect for South Carolina, which fell behind early, then had its 15-point halftime lead cut to 54-48 midway through the third quarter.

Still, its dominant inside game – South Carolina outscored the Wildcats 62-14 in the paint – was more than enough to shut down Kentucky (10-12, 2-8), the last team to defeat the defending national champions at the SEC Tournament last March.

The Wildcats went on top 16-15 after a pair of baskets by Adebola Adeyeye.

That’s when South Carolina, fueled by its bench, took control with a 17-2 run. Ashlyn Watkins had three inside shots and Kamilla Cardoso scored four points during the surge.

The Wildcats used a 13-4 burst to start the third quarter to give South Carolina a few uncomfortable moments. But the Gamecocks got going once more with an 11-0 run to extend their margin.

Cardoso, the 6-foot-7 reserve, had 14 points and five of South Carolina’s 14 blocks. Defensive ace Brea Beal had 10 including both of the Gamecocks’ 3-pointers.

Beal thought the team held together well to blunt Kentucky’s runs and regain control. “I think it’s our mental aspect of the game and us believing in each other,” she said.

Robyn Benton had 24 points to lead Kentucky, which has lost three of its past four games.

Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy said South Carolina is difficult to match up with because of its deep bench. “They have depth after depth after depth,” she said. “They keep coming.”

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: The Wildcats are the not the same team that featured two-time SEC player of the year Rhyne Howard the past few seasons. They have 10 newcomers – and six freshmen – who are still learning how to play against the SEC’s top teams like South Carolina.

South Carolina: Forgive the Gamecocks if their focus wasn’t fully on this one at first with a big week ahead. In an eight-game span, South Carolina will face No. 5 UConn and No. 3 LSU, a pair of high-profile games could expose any flaw – or show how powerful the Gamecocks are in chasing a second straight NCAA crown.

UCONN KARMA

South Carolina has opened 22-0 twice under coach Dawn Staley, in 2014-15 and the following year. Both runs ended against UConn. Next up for Gamecocks are the Huskies, although South Carolina has won three of the past four games over UConn including last April’s 64-49 victory to win the NCAA Tournament title.

UP NEXT

Kentucky returns home to face Alabama on Feb. 9.

South Carolina heads to No. 5 UConn on Sunday.

Miles, Citron lead No. 9 Irish past Boston College 72-59

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BOSTON — Olivia Miles and Sonia Citron had already scored 10 straight points to put away Boston College when they turned their attention to other things.

“I told Sonia I needed two more assists for the double-double. And she was like, `All right, I’ve got you,”‘ Miles said after helping No. 9 Notre Dame beat BC 72-59 on Thursday night.

“That’s just kind of our communication on the court,” said Miles, who found Citron for baskets on the next two Irish possessions to complete a 14-0 run – with all 14 points from Miles and Citron. “We just really play off each other really well.

Miles scored 22 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds, and Citron scored 23 for the Irish (18-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Maria Gakdeng scored 16 points, T’Yana Todd had 13 and Andrea Daly scored 10 with eight rebounds for BC (14-11, 4-8). The Irish beat BC at home 85-48 on New Year’s Day but hadn’t won in Chestnut Hill since 2019.

“This is such a tough place to play,” said Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey, whose team faces No. 16 Duke next. “We’ll celebrate it until about 12:30, and then we’ve got film. Tomorrow we start focusing on Duke.”

BC came within five points, 55-50, before the Irish ran off 14 points in a row – nine by Citron, and five by Miles. That put an end to what had been a back-and-forth game in which the Irish opened big leads and then frittered them away.

“I always feel like we’re close,” BC coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “They’re young; I think consistency comes with experience.

“I think it’s a big improvement from the first time we played Notre Dame,” she said. “I still want to see more, and I want to see us grow up as fast as humanly possible because I think we do have a dangerous team when we going well.”

Notre Dame led by 11 in the first quarter and held a 38-30 lead with two minutes gone in the third. BC scored 13 of the next 18 points, capitalizing on back-to-back Irish turnovers to tie it 43-all with three minutes left in the quarter.

But Natalija Marshall put back the rebound of her own miss, Miles drove to the basket, Maddy Westbeld added a pair of baskets and then Miles stole the ball and found Citron on the fast break to make it 53-43.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame bounced back from their first league loss of the season, a 69-65 defeat at North Carolina State on Sunday. Now they face No. 16 Duke.

The Eagles, who beat Pittsburgh on Sunday to snap a five-game losing streak, were looking for their second victory over a Top 25 team this season, having also beaten then-No. 10 N.C. State on Jan. 5.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: Hosts No. 16 Duke on Sunday.

Boston College: Visits Syracuse on Sunday.

No. 16 Xavier beats No. 17 Providence 85-83 in OT thriller

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CINCINNATI — Jack Nunge had 23 points and 14 rebounds as No. 16 Xavier held off No. 17 Providence 85-83 in an overtime thriller Wednesday night.

Colby Jones and Souley Boum each scored 20 for the Musketeers, who won a first-place showdown in the Big East without injured forward Zach Freemantle.

Noah Locke had 22 points and Ed Croswell added 21 for Providence (17-6, 9-3), which had beaten Xavier three straight times.

A layup by Boum put the Musketeers (18-5, 10-2) ahead 82-79 with 51 seconds remaining in overtime. A turnover by the Musketeers led to a layup by Devin Carter that cut Xavier’s lead to one with 24 seconds left.

Boum hit one of two free throws, and Jared Bynum’s 3-point attempt from the left corner rimmed out at the buzzer as the Musketeers held on.

Xavier played its first game without Freemantle, the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. He is expected to miss four weeks with a left foot injury, the same foot that required surgery in 2021.

Jerome Hunter, who has excelled off the bench for the Musketeers, made his first start of the season and scored nine points with eight rebounds. Xavier had used the same starting lineup in each of its previous 11 Big East games.

Things started well for the Musketeers. who went on a 12-1 run to build a 25-11 lead.

With Boum on the bench with two fouls, the Musketeers didn’t have a field goal in the final 4:18 of the first half and the Friars pulled to 39-35 at halftime.

Providence outscored Xavier 8-2 to start the second half and took its first lead, 43-41, with 17:41 left.

There was a frantic finish to the second half, with Adam Kunkel’s 3-pointer putting Xavier ahead 76-73 with 55 seconds left. But then Bynum banked in a tying 3 and Boum missed two long shots to send the game to overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Providence: The Friars, who won their first Big East regular-season title last year, entered the night tied atop the conference standings with Xavier and No. 14 Marquette, which hosted Villanova later. Providence was picked fifth in the preseason.

Xavier: Hunter, who averages 14 minutes, left with three minutes remaining in OT with an apparent cramp in his right leg. With Freemantle out, Hunter played 36 minutes.

UP NEXT

Providence: Hosts last-place Georgetown on Wednesday.

Xavier: Will host St. John’s on Saturday.

Florida upends No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 behind Colin Castleton

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Colin Castleton had 20 points and nine rebounds, Kyle Lofton added 14 points and Florida used a 13-0 run late in the second half to upend No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 on Wednesday night.

The Volunteers, playing with their highest ranking in four years, lost for the first time in five games. They had won nine of 10.

Tennessee (18-4, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) looked like it had taken control midway through the second half. They outscored Florida by 10 points in the early going to take a six-point lead.

But the Gators (13-9, 6-3) stormed back behind Castleton, who scored 11 of 14 points as Florida rallied. The senior had a dunk, two free throws, a three-point play, a layup and a short jumper – essentially putting the team on his back down the stretch.

Myreon Jones and Will Richard chipped in nine points apiece for the Gators.

Zakai Ziegler led the Vols with 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Olivier Nkamhoua added 11 points and nine rebounds for the vistors, who also got 11 points and eight boards from Vescovi Santiago.

Florida led 27-21 at halftime, just the fifth time the Volunteers has trailed at the break this season. Tennessee rallied to win three of the previous four.

The Gators were red hot to start, making six of their first eight shots – including all three from 3-point range – while building a 17-4 advantage. But they quickly cooled against the nation’s best defense, missing nine of their next 11 as Tennessee made cut it to 22-21.

The Vols had it going coming out of the locker room, with Ziegler getting into the paint and making things happen. But it was short-lived – thanks mostly to Castleton.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Tennessee surely will drop a few spots in next week’s AP Top 25 college basketball poll.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: The Volunteers gave up 10 points in the opening four minutes of the games, a rare sluggish start for the nation’s best defense. Tennessee had held four of its first eight SEC opponents scoreless at the first media timeout, roughly the first four minutes of games. It was a sign of things to come.

Florida: The Gators have been resilient much of the season, and this was arguably the most impressive comeback of the season for coach Todd Golden’s team. The Gators squandered a 13-point lead early and a six-point advantage in the second half. But they rallied when it mattered.

IN THE HOUSE

Football coach Billy Napier watched the game from a few rows behind Florida’s bench alongside his two sons and receiver Ricky Pearsall. Former Florida tennis star Ben Shelton, the NCAA singles champion in 2022, also was in attendance. So was former Gators and NFL quarterback Doug Johnson.

UP NEXT

Tennessee hosts No. 25 Auburn and former coach Bruce Pearl on Saturday.

Florida plays at Kentucky on Saturday. The Gators have lost seven of eight in the series.

No. 8 Kansas avenges earlier loss to No. 7 Kansas State, 90-78

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jalen Wilson had 20 points, Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 8 Kansas avenged a loss to Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago with a 90-78 victory over the seventh-ranked Wildcats.

Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 18 for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who built a 12-point halftime lead before coasting to their 17th straight home win over the Wildcats in the 10th matchup of top-10 teams in series history.

Kansas has rebounded nicely from a rare three-game skid that included the overtime loss to Kansas State, and made sure to avoid taking back-to-back losses in its storied home for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

Markquis Nowell scored 23 points and Keyontae Johnson had 22 to lead the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3), who were trying for their first regular-season sweep of their biggest rival in four decades. Nae’Qwan Tomlin added 11 points and David N’Guessan had 10.

In their first meeting on Jan. 17, the Wildcats raced to a big early lead and controlled the game until late in the second half, when the Jayhawks forced overtime — only for Kansas State to win on Johnson’s alley-oop dunk.

It was the Jayhawks who controlled the rematch.

They used a 16-7 run in the first half that included a technical foul on Kansas State coach Jerome Tang to build a 32-19 lead. And when Johnson answered with eight straight points for the Wildcats, and the lead was eventually trimmed to four, the reigning national champs pulled away again down the stretch.

It was 37-32 when Wilson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Zach Clemence added one of his own. And by the time Wilson made two foul shots with about 10 seconds left, Kansas had built a 49-37 lead that it took to the break.

The Wildcats briefly got within six in the second half before the Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 16.

OFFICIATING OOPS

Johnson had to sit with two fouls just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Only problem? The crew of John Higgins, Kip Kissinger and Marques Pettigrew gave one to the wrong player. By the time they corrected their mistake, the Wildcats’ leading scorer had unnecessarily ridden the bench for several minutes.

SELLOUT … AND THEN SOME

For the first time in more than 15 years, more Kansas students redeemed tickets than there was space available inside Allen Fieldhouse. The overflow had to watch the game on screens in the adjacent Horejsi Family Athletics Center, where the Jayhawks play volleyball games. Those students also got refunds and concessions vouchers.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State’s three losses in league play have been to ranked teams on the road: TCU, Iowa State and Kansas. And with a more forgiving second half to the Big 12 schedule, the Wildcats remain firmly in the conference title hunt.

Kansas got its mojo back with its win over Kentucky last weekend. This victory over another bunch of Wildcats was crucial because the road doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks, who are in the midst of three straight games against teams ranked 13th or better.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for another top-10 showdown Saturday against No. 10 Texas.

Kansas hits the road for the third time in four games against No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday.