The Kansas State Wildcats started the season ranked third in the country and now, over two months later, they sit at 16-8 on the season and just 4-5 in the Big 12. They're absolutely in danger of missing the NCAA tournament if they continue their slide.
They've won two straight against Nebraska and Iowa State and they'll look to continue that on Saturday against the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder. Kansas had lost four consecutive road games before beating the Cyclones 86-85 on February 5.
Colorado has been a bit of a surprise and they've shown they can play well at home. They're 15-10 on the season and 4-6 in the Big 12. Three of those four conference wins came against Missouri, K-State and Oklahoma State to open league play. Colorado beat the Wildcats in Manhattan, 74-66, on January 12.
The good news for K-State is that Curtis Kelly, who was reportedly being investigated by the school with his future in question, is expected to play on Saturday. We're still not sure where he stands in the long run for the rest of the season but, on Saturday, he'll be available.
If Kansas State is going to make the tournament, they're going to need to win games like this. On paper, they're the better team but Colorado's no slouch, especially at home. The Buffs have proven they can beat the Wildcats -- at home no less -- so this is by no means an easy game.
I'm not sure we can use the words "must win" yet but it's getting to that point for Kansas State.