Two teams eager for a break from ranked opponents meet Saturday when Kansas State travels to Fort Worth, Tex., to face the TCU Horned Frogs. The Wildcats have played five straight conference games against ranked teams, while TCU has played three ranked opponents in its past four games.
Of course, with six of the 10 teams in the conference currently ranked, and a seventh (Oklahoma State) the top team "receiving votes," playing against a ranked opponent is a pretty common occurrence.
The Horned Frogs (11-8, 4-6 Big 12) started the season 9-2 with the ninth victory coming against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Jan. 2. But then five straight losses, interrupted by multiple postponements due to COVID-19 protocols, sent them near the bottom of the conference.
The Horned Frogs have had their past two games -- a home-and-home series with No. 15 Texas Tech -- postponed due to the winter storm that overtook Texas and the South, so Saturday's game will be their first action in a week.
Against the Longhorns, TCU got within three points midway through the second half, but Texas pulled away. The Longhorns went on an 11-0 run to build a 62-47 lead with just over five minutes left.
"We had our opportunities, but eventually the poor play just continued and it wore us down," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. "I thought we'd be better. Their physicality really bothered us, and I was surprised by that."
The Frogs are led by a strong backcourt. R.J. Nembhard leads with a 16.9 points per game average. Mike Miles adds 14.6 points per contest and Kevin Samuel is at 9.1. Samuel also pulls down 8.5 rebounds per game to lead TCU.
K-State (5-18, 1-13 Big 12) has lost 13 straight games, the longest single-season streak in school history.
The Wildcats had another blowout loss to Kansas on Wednesday at home. K-State has lost 13 of the past 14 to the Jayhawks. The 59-41 final was the lowest-scoring game in the series since 1981.
The biggest problem was outside shooting. The Wildcats hit their final two 3-point attempts (in the final minute) to finish 3-of-24 from 3-point range. They didn't hit their first 3-pointer until the 11:33 mark of the second half.
"We haven't been good shooting all year, but we've been better than that," head coach Bruce Weber said after the game. "I thought we did a lot of good things on (the defensive) end. On the other end, you have to be relaxed and confident and have poise. Maybe (it was) the adrenaline and wanting it so bad."
--Field Level Media