Justin Edwards hasn’t forgotten the way Kansas State’s first meeting with Kansas ended earlier this season.
Edwards, a senior K-State guard, remains upset with KU guard Brannen Greene for an unguarded dunk he made in the final seconds of the Jayhawks’ 77-59 victory.
“It was kind of like they were just throwing stuff in our face when they did that,” Edwards said Thursday. “To get back at them and just beat them on the court is what we want to do.”
“It wasn’t sportsmanlike of him to do that,” Edwards said. “The players kind of just said he was a (expletive). I don’t know if I should say that or not, but, yeah, players talked about it.”
K-State coach Bruce Weber declined comment on the play earlier this month, referring to it as a Kansas deal. On Thursday, he was asked if he planned to motivate his team by showing them replays of the dunk.
“I don’t know,” he said with a smile. “We will see.”
Greene has since apologized for his last-second dunk, but that means little to K-State players.
“In a situation like that you just want to walk off the court and let the game be over with,” K-State junior Wesley Iwundu said. “We still remember that. It is just motivation going into this game.”
History lends perspective. Not long ago the Jayhawks won 24 straight in Manhattan, including the first 19 meetings in Bramlage.
The string ended with Michael Beasley’s deft touch, which began the current 4-4 run for the Cats at home against the Jayhawks.
The two-game streak K-State carries against KU is the longest for the Cats in Manhattan since Ahearn Fieldhouse was appointed with backboards, rims and nets. K-State won three straight there against KU from 1981-83.
“We’ve gotten over (losing to KU at home),” insisted senior Brian Rohleder. “We’re not at that, ‘Oh, let’s break the streak’ type of thing anymore.”
…Think about it, though. Virtually every time KU loses a Big 12 game on the road, rival fans storm. If K-State pulled off a surprise Saturday — and it would be a colossal upset given how the No. 2 Jayhawks are clicking — and fans pour on the floor, it’s what everyone expects.
Such outbursts, however, acknowledge KU’s Big 12 supremacy.
Fans inside Bramlage Coliseum, whether they are young, old, current students or alumni, are known for creating an intense atmosphere.
This season, however, the Octagon of Doom has been missing a crucial part of that atmosphere — “Sandstorm.” Since last year’s Sunflower Showdown against the University of Kansas when chants of, “Fuck KU,” were aired on national television, the athletic department has not played the song, and fans have taken notice.
Despite the multitude of requests for “Sandstorm” to make a comeback to Bramlage, the athletic department has maintained its position to not play the song in hopes of creating a family atmosphere.
“We want an environment that is intimidating for visitors to play in, but I think we have to do that without crossing the line,” Scott Garrett, senior associate athletic director for external operations, said. “We do not think it is responsible to play that song when every time it is played the F-word is chanted in unison.”
Let’s begin with the best defensive freeze-frame from Round II of Kansas-Oklahoma: The second-half possession where KU’s Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason jammed up a handoff attempt to Buddy Hield, and then neither Jayhawk guard was willing to leave him, so they just stood there, giving Buddy an off-ball, double hug:
SI Luke Winn Power Rankings: Kansas Moves to #1 (Click link for all of his charts, stats on KU’s defense on Hield)
Kansas coach Bill Self says better days are ahead for freshman forward Cheick Diallo.
“I think Cheick is coming. I think he’s coming,” Self said during his news conference Thursday. “I still believe what I said before: He’s going to be a terrific player. He’s still raw, but he’s improved so much just in the last month.”
“He’s been scoring the ball so much better in practice, and that hasn’t translated to the game yet, but that will eventually,” Self said. “But he’s doing fine.”
“I’m real proud of Cheick and Carlton’s attitude, and I will tell you this: Those two will get the last laugh,” Self said. “But they’re just going to have to be patient right now.”
For now, mixed signals cloud the possible resumption of a Nebraska vs. Kansas men’s basketball series.
NU basketball administrator Marc Boehm said Thursday he has approached KU about future contests between the former conference brethren.
“At this point, we’re feeling very good about it,” Boehm said. “We’re going to pick up on it again Monday.”
The potential for such a series was news Thursday to Kansas coach Bill Self.
Self told The World-Herald he has never talked to NU coach Tim Miles or KU basketball administrator Larry Keating about resuming games between the border schools.
The Huskers and Jayhawks played 241 times back to 1900 as fellow members of the Missouri Valley, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences. The games stopped when Nebraska left for the Big Ten in 2011.
“I don’t think it would be a bad thing to play Nebraska,” Self said. “I don’t think anybody here was ever upset with them making the decision they did. So that wouldn’t be it at all.
“But I don’t know if they would want to. And to be candid with you, as tough as our league is and the other built-in nonconference games we already have, I don’t know how much more we want to pick up.”
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
Big 12/College News
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 10 West Virginia, 4 p.m. ET, Saturday, ESPN: We all wondered what would happen if Oklahoma -- vying for a historic slot in the shooting annals of college basketball history -- began to connect at a clip below its "Thunder" Dan Majerle levels of 45 percent. Well, we know now. Oklahoma has lost three of its last four games. In those three losses to Kansas State, Kansas and Texas Tech, Oklahoma finished 22-for-69 from beyond the arc. Combine that with a defense that surrendered 1.14, 1.12 and 1.02 points per possession respectively in those three losses and this Oklahoma slide makes more sense. Despite those shortcomings, however, the Sooners lost its most recent pair of games by six points combined. They'll face a team that's not sure how healthy Daxter Miles Jr. and Jaysean Paige will be on Saturday. Both were affected by injuries in WVU's loss at Texas on Tuesday. Still, in the first matchup, Oklahoma shot below 30 percent from the 3-point line and committed 18 turnovers and still won by two. Can't get much worse than that, right?
Prediction: Oklahoma 76, West Virginia 72
The Iowa State men’s basketball team had heard plenty from the outside on what people thought was ailing this once top-10 team.
On Thursday, the Cyclones decided to discuss it themselves in a players-only meeting.
“I think it was the most honest meeting we’ve had all year,” senior Jameel McKay said. “People with tears almost coming out their eyes, the enthusiasm in it. It was a big-time meeting.”
The Cyclones, who have lost four of their last six, are still certainly headed to the NCAA tournament and will likely be a high seed, but there is unrest given they’ve largely failed to live up to lofty preseason expectations thus far this season, namely not truly being a threat to dethrone Kansas in the Big 12 standings.
So, what’s the deal? Why do you some of you Baylor basketball “fans” — I use the fanatical term loosely — avoid the Ferrell Center as if it’s ground zero for the Zika virus?
Scott Drew’s Bears are averaging 6,230 fans for their home games this season. It marks the second straight year that attendance has dipped lower than the year before.
Remember, Baylor boasts a Top 25 team that has won 14 of its 17 home contests. The Bears have been ranked as high as 13th in the Associated Press Top 25. They play in the Big 12, arguably the best conference in college basketball.
Yet for Baylor’s home battle Tuesday against No. 13 Iowa State, a mere 5,556 people graced the Ferrell Center with their presence. That was the official announced attendance. A more authentic account of the turnout would be described as “pathetic.”
The Big 12's average payout to its full-sharing members in 2014-15 was $23.3 million, which was $9.4 million less than what SEC schools received from their conference.
The latest Big 12 tax return provided Wednesday to CBS Sports reflects the growing gap between the SEC and Big Ten compared to every other major conference. Not long ago, the SEC and Big 12 provided nearly identical payouts to their schools, past tax records show.
In 2012-13, the Big 12 distributed about $20.9 million to full-sharing members compared to the SEC's $20.8 million payout. The Big 12 distributed slightly more money in 2013-14 ($21.2 million) than the SEC ($21 million). But the first year of the SEC Network and new College Football Playoff deals shows the significant difference between the SEC and Big 12. (The Big Ten's latest financial records won't be released until the spring.)
While the Big 12 had no teams in the inaugural playoff, the SEC had one that was worth $6 million to the conference. In addition, the SEC put two teams into contracted CFP bowls that provided additional revenue.
Also, the SEC Network started printing millions of dollars for the SEC -- a revenue source that the Big 12 as a whole doesn't have. Individual Big 12 schools make additional money through third-tier media rights that aren't reflected in the Big 12 tax form. For instance, Texas reportedly received about $15 million from the Longhorn Network, and Kansas got more than $6 million and Kansas State about $4 million from their third-tier rights.
Even when factoring in these rights, most Big 12 schools are seeing a growing gap with SEC schools in revenue. The SEC pools third-tier TV rights together for the SEC Network. But SEC schools still have their own multi-media rights contracts not factored into their conference payout. For instance, Kentucky gets approximately $14 million per year from JMI Sports, and Alabama receives about $15 to $16 million annually from Learfield Sports.
“We're going to do everything we can to compete,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said about the growing gap. “That would certainly include financially.”
KC Star: The case for/against 6 possible additions to the Big 12
Don’t do it, Maryland fans.
Don’t lie to yourselves about your favorite team’s act of self-sabotage Thursday, the night the Terrapins suffered a 68-63 loss at Minnesota -- one of the worst teams in college basketball. A team that lost its first 13 Big Ten games. A team that lost to South Dakota State and South Dakota on the same Williams Arena floor that buckled as Gophers fans stormed the court to support Richard Pitino’s first Big Ten victory of 2015-16. A team that dismissed its fourth-leading scorer, senior Carlos Morris, earlier this week.
Don’t ingest the soothing words Mark Turgeon might offer in the wake of the worst Maryland loss of the season. And don’t blame this on the absence of Diamond Stone, the suspended future pro who missed this game after he dropped a Ronda Rousey-like face smash on Wisconsin’s Vitto Brown over the weekend.
Maryland failed, and it’s on the Terps now to show everyone that Thursday was just a bad night. That’s why we’re here, because we’re not sure they will. It’s easier to doubt everything we once believed about Maryland. Wonder if this Terps team will exit the tourney early and watch the Sweet 16 with the rest of us.
The Terps don’t deserve consideration for a top seed now. And the Terps don’t belong in the middle of your bracket because, it seems, they’re just the same ol' Terps.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube