Here are projected starters with TV and radio information for the Kansas State Wildcats vs. the Baylor Bears Big 12 basketball game on Saturday at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
When/where: 5 p.m., Saturday, Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
TV/radio: ESPN2, KQAM (1480 AM) in Wichita, KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City
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About Kansas State (17-5, 7-2 Big 12): The Wildcats have won seven straight Big 12 games and are alone in first place. Barry Brown and Dean Wade have led the way, but they’ve been getting plenty of help lately from other sources. Cartier Diarra has reached double figures in three straight games and Xavier Sneed has been very active in the past two. One position the Wildcats continue to struggle at is center. Makol Mawien has been in a scoring slump, and backup Levi Stockard rarely contributes on offense, though he did score four points against Kansas. K-State has had success against Baylor in recent years, winning four straight in the series.
About Baylor (15-7, 6-3 Big 12): Many left the Bears for dead when they lost early games to Texas Southern, Wichita State and Stephen F. Austin, but they have been one of the best teams in the Big 12 since conference play began. They had won six straight games before falling at Texas 84-72 on Wednesday. Star guard Makai Mason was limited to just 23 minutes in that game with injuries and might not be at full strength against the Wildcats. But he’s hard to guard when he’s playing his best. He scored 40 points against TCU last week. Bruce Weber said earlier this week that Scott Drew is deserving of Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.
Prediction: K-State is coming off the high of a rivalry win at home. Baylor is coming off a humbling road loss. That makes this a tricky game for the Wildcats. They can’t afford a hangover against a team that has defeated Iowa State, Texas Tech, Oregon, Alabama and TCU at home this season. The Bears need to win this game to stay in the Big 12 championship hunt, while a win would feel like icing on the cake for the Wildcats. Motivation and home court will be on Baylor’s side. K-State has also been known to struggle against a zone defense, which the Bears use in every game. If Mason is at or near full strength, this will be a very challenging game for the Wildcats. Baylor 69, Kansas State 65.