K-State junior G Xavier Sneed talks about his big day against TCU
Here are projected starters with TV and radio information for the Kansas State Wildcats vs. the Iowa State Cyclones Big 12 Tournament semifinal game at 6 p.m. on Friday at Sprint Center in Kansas City.
When/where: 6 p.m., Friday, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
TV/radio: ESPN2, KQAM (1480 AM) in Wichita, KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City
About Iowa State (21-11): The Cyclones are coming off a resounding 83-66 victory over Baylor in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Iowa State hit 13 three-pointers in that game and pulled ahead from the Bears early in the second half. This is one of the hardest teams to predict in the Big 12 teams. When Talen Horton-Tucker and his teammates get hot from the perimeter, they can beat anyone. But the opposite is true when they go cold. Iowa State made 14 of 24 three-pointers and beat K-State 78-64 last month at Bramlage Coliseum. Iowa State loves playing at the Sprint Center and has won the Big 12 Tournament three times in the past five years.
About Kansas State (25-7): The Wildcats are coming off a 70-61 victory over TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. K-State got off to a slow start without Dean Wade in that game, but made lineup changes and dominated the rest of the way. Expect K-State to go small against Iowa State and use a starting lineup that features Mike McGuirl or Cartier Diarra. Bruce Weber gave forward Austin Trice his first start against TCU, but K-State looked sluggish with two traditional big men on the floor. The Wildcats defeated the Cyclones 58-57 at Hilton Coliseum earlier this season and lost the rematch at home. This will be the rubber match. Fatigue could play a factor in this game, as five of K-State’s players logged 29 minutes or more yesterday.
Prediction: The unpredictable Cyclones are favored by 2 1/2 points in this game. That seems about right, considering the Wildcats won’t have Dean Wade. K-State will need to muddy things up with defense to win. Bruce Weber’s team is capable of doing exactly that, but it won’t be easy on short rest. The Cyclones win with a good shooting day.
Iowa State 72, K-State 68.