For over a decade, Kansas State basketball hardly ever competed properly within the Huge 12 Convention. The league was created in 1996 and the Wildcats wouldn’t publish a successful convention report till 2007. Moreover, Okay-State was within the midst of a 12-year absence from the NCAA event.
Following the 2007 season, Okay-State employed Frank Martin, a former assistant as the brand new head coach. Martin rapidly improved the Wildcats’ standing. His addition of star freshman Michael Beasley had Okay-State ranked within the preseason Prime 25 for the primary time since 1972.
Beasley wasn’t alone both. Joined by two different star freshmen, Jacob Pullen and Invoice Walker, Okay-State was younger, however able to compete.
January was a month to recollect for the Wildcats. Martin’s staff was undefeated in convention play together with a win over No. 10 Texas A&M, the staff’s first victory over a Prime 10 staff since 2004. Nonetheless, there was an even bigger matchup ready for Okay-State: The Kansas Jayhawks — the Wildcats’ prized rival.
Not like Okay-State, the Kansas Jayhawks has probably the most storied histories in basketball. In consequence, Okay-State owned a 24-year residence court docket dropping streak towards Kansas.
Okay-State hosted the Jayhawks on Jan. 30, 2008 and historical past was going to be made both manner. Kansas got here in two victories in need of matching its program’s greatest begin with a 20-0 report. The 24-game streak in an opponent’s fitness center was additionally one win in need of tying the NCAA report.
Okay-State had different plans.
“We’re going to beat Kansas at residence, we’re going to beat them of their home. We’re going to beat them in Africa,” Beasley mentioned within the preseason.
The freshman trio of Pullen, Beasley and Walker scored a mixed 67 factors because the Wildcats defeated their rival 84-75. A sea of purple surged ahead as elated Wildcat followers flooded the court docket. Indicators within the crowd had been plentiful — some learn “Occasion Like It’s 1983,” “The Streak Ends 2-nite” and “twenty fifth time’s a attraction.”
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The Martin-led Wildcats would go on to win their first event sport in an upset of No. 6 seed USC Trojans. Kansas would win the nationwide championship.
Presently, after a three-year absence from the NCAA event, Okay-State introduced in head coach Jerome Tang, one other former assistant. Having to rebuild his roster equally to Martin, Tang has the Wildcats exceeding expectations as soon as once more.
Regardless of being picked final within the Huge 12 preseason ballot, the Wildcats opened league play with 4 straight wins, together with a Prime 10 win over No. 6 Texas, although a victory over Kansas at Bramlage Coliseum was nonetheless lingering.
Tang was in a position to repeat historical past as a primary 12 months head coach. His Wildcats defeated the then-ranked No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks, the identical rating Kansas had earlier than Martin defeated the rival. Okay-State followers stormed their court docket as soon as once more, looking forward to a future that appears as vibrant as ever in Manhattan.
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