Kansas State will try to hang onto its share of the Big 12 lead when the No. 13 Wildcats travel to Texas on Saturday night. The Wildcats have won two straight and six of seven to pull even with rival Kansas atop the conference standings, and they have no margin for error thanks to losing both head-to-head meetings with the Jayhawks.
The Longhorns have slogged through a down year, but they've won two of three games since the return of sophomore guard Myck Kabongo after a 23-game NCAA suspension. The Wildcats throttled Texas without Kabongo on Jan. 30, winning 83-57 at home. Kansas State has won five of the last seven meetings, including wins in three of its last four visits to Erwin Center.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network
ABOUT KANSAS STATE (21-5, 10-3 Big 12): The Wildcats are winning with defense and balanced scoring. They lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (59.5 points per game) and have eight players averaging at least 4.5 points. Senior guard Rodney McGruder (14.8 points, 5.3 rebounds) and sophomore point guard Angel Rodriguez (10.7 points, 5.1 assists) lead the way, and sophomore Will Spradling (8.7 points) and junior Shane Southwell (8.1 points) are excellent outside shooters.
ABOUT TEXAS (12-14, 4-9): The Longhorns are inexperienced with three freshmen and two sophomores in the starting lineup, but they've been outstanding at the defensive end, ranking third in the nation in opponents' field goal percentage (36.5) and first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.7). Texas desperately missed Kabongo at the offensive end, though. The sophomore has averaged 12.7 points and 4.7 assists in his first three games back.
1. Kansas State has gone 28-26 in Big 12 road games over the past seven seasons after posting a 10-70 road mark in the league's first 10 years.
2. Texas freshman F Connor Lammert has averaged 12 points and six rebounds in three games since Kabongo's return.
3. Texas is 1-6 against ranked opponents this season with the win coming against then-No. 19 North Carolina on Dec. 19 in Austin.
PREDICTION: Kansas State 61, Texas 60