Believe it or not, the Buffaloes are the ones with a conference win and the Wildcats aren’t. CU plays KSU tonight in the Little Apple.
COLORADO: Amazing how much perception can change in just a week. Before the Buffs’ win over Mizzou, they were considered a bottom-feeder happily on their way out of the Big 12. For the moment, they look like more of a competitive team.
Alec Burks is an NBA-type player, which everyone knew already. But if Colorado plays a good game tonight against Kansas State, that will only solidify the Buffs as a team on the rise (or show how far K-State has fallen). As we mentioned following the Missouri game, the key for Colorado is to get contributions from everyone else besides Burks and Cory Higgins. Perhaps most impressive Saturday was CU’s ability and willingness to run with the Tigers. They were effective in transition and made plenty of tough shots.
Kansas State is a stronger, bigger team than Missouri but not as deep or as quick. Colorado has a big job keeping up with the Wildcats’ front line. Bramlage Coliseum is one of the toughest road sites in the conference.
KANSAS STATE: Well, if you’re a K-State fan, this is a game you have to be anxious to watch. I didn’t see their game against Oklahoma State, but Justin wrote here how vulnerable the Wildcat forwards have looked. Though it’s quite possible Colorado is better than we all thought earlier, it’s not an elite team, and at home this is a game K-State should certainly win.
Bob Knight was right when he said at the beginning of the year that Kansas State wouldn’t sneak up on anyone as they did last year. However, with their stock so low relative to where it was originally (when they were ranked Top 5), we still have to remember Kansas State is a good team with talent at guard and forward. Jacob Pullen can have a scoring spree just as easily as Burks can, so Colorado must watch him.
Those losses to Florida and UNLV will seem like distant memories if No. 21 Kansas State shows a good effort in these early conference games. After Saturday, the following four games are all very challenging, so Kansas State has a major opportunity over the next two and a half weeks to prove itself.
For all the joking people do about Frank Martin and his death-stare, he really is a pretty good coach and I think he will have his Wildcats very prepared. Honestly, this game might be scarier if CU had lost Saturday, because now it’s clear what they are able to do.
Kansas State was picked to win the league. An 0-2 start would make that almost too much to ask.
K-State wins by about 12-15 points.