The game will complete the season series for the two programs following last month’s 116-103 win by the Wildcats at the Moody Center — the only home loss of the season for the Longhorns — in which acting head coach Rodney Terry’s team struggled defensively in allowing the most points in regulation in conference history.
Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell scored a career-high 36 points while forward Keyontae Johnson added 26 points. Both players were able to score with efficiency as Texas struggled to slow them down at all, including 6-of-9 shooting from Nowell beyond the arc.
So the Horns will need a better plan defensively to deal with the star players for the Wildcats in addition to more tenacious individual efforts.
Since that win, Kansas State has emerged as a legitimate conference title contender under first-year head coach Jerome Tang, sitting just behind Texas in the Big 12 standings at 6-3. KenPom.com’s adjusted efficiency metric remains unconvinced by the Wildcats, slotting them No. 24 nationally with the No. 32 offense and the No. 28 defense, but Kansas State has unquestioningly been dominant at Bramlage Coliseum this season with a 12-0 record.
The Longhorns enter the game trying to maintain their place atop the Big 12 standings in the midst of the program’s best start to conference play since 2013-14 and the program’s best overall start since 2010-11, aided by a 5-0 record under Terry in games decided by five points or less.
With guard Marcus Carr cooling off in the last two games, thanks in part to early foul trouble in both contests, guard Sir’Jabari Rice has been playing at high level, averaging 21.0 points while hitting 13-of-23 (.565) field goals, including 7-of-14 (.500) from three-point range, and 9-of-12 (.750) from the free-throw line over the last two games. In the win over Baylor, Rice tied his season high with 21 points on 5-of-7 field goals, including 4-of-5 threes, and 7-of-8 free throws while adding six rebounds.
How to watch
Time: 3 p.m. Central