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Open Game Thread : Game #29 : Kansas State (18-9) @ #7 Kansas (25-3)

Even with our struggles, even with our lackluster performances of late, even with our nine-point loss to the Powercats the last time we played them, I am amazingly confident of tonight's outcome.

Call it a gut feeling. Call it confidence. Call it cockiness. Call it a by-product of our traditional dominance of the school over in Manhattan. Whatever you choose, I guarantee we don't lose tonight. And here is why:

  1. We are at home. We don't lose at home very often, especially in conference play and especially to rivals. Plus, Allen Field House will be a-rockin' more than usual tonight, as the crowd will be incredibly pumped up because of the loss in Manhattan. We have traditionally dominated the Powercats, both in football and basketball, and losses don't sit well. And we haven't lost in Manhattan since 1983, so even with the improved talent in Manhattan, the loss was at least somewhat unexpected.
  2. I kind of summed it up in #1, but after our loss against the Powercats, no way we lose to them again. I don't care what Michael Beasley said, they aren't going to come into Allen Field House and beat this year's version of the Kansas Jayhawks. Now, if he wants to stay in school for another year and play us next year in AFH, I wouldn't be surprised. We are going to be pretty average, for our standards, next season and the Powercats would be even better if Beasley stayed. So, yea, I think we have it covered.
  3. We actually played decent on the road Wednesday night, and that should carry over to an even more impressive game tonight.
With all of that said, tonight really is a pretty big game for us. Not to just beat the Powercats, that is only a side-note to some more important matters, but a demolition of a really good Powercats team on national television with the College Gameday crew in Lawrence would do wonders to this team's confidence. Plus, with the fact that the Powercats started this little slump of ours, hopefully we can fully emerge from it with a game against the very same Powercats.

But just as important, a win would get us back to the top of the Big 12 standings, albeit tied with Texas and losing the tie-breaker. Still, after tonight we only have a home game against a suddenly-streaking Texas Tech Red Raiders team and a road contest against a quickly-dropping Texas A&M Aggies team, and those are both fairly-easily-winnable games. So no matter what the Longhorns do from here on out, after their loss to Texas Tech today, we have our destiny in our own hands regarding a conference championship, albeit a shared one.

But I just want to end this with one thing. I absolutely guarantee that Michael Beasley, the most talented player I have seen since Kevin Durant, is held under 20 points today. I promise. Hold me to it, I don't care.

Stepping further out on a limb, I bet we win tonight and win big. Darrell Arthur will explode, #1 on our checklist, and we will hit most of our open shots, #2 on said checklist, while Billy Walker explodes for the Powercats. But that isn't enough for the team from Manhattan, as we win...

Kansas 84 -- Kansas State 71.