Tonight the Kansas Jayhawks head in to Bramlage Coliseum to take on the Kansas State Wildcats as part of ESPN's Big Monday. Before the season started the pair of games between the two Sunflower State schools looked to be a battle of top 10 opponents. That hasn't exactly transpired as Frank Martin and the Wildcats have been in a freefall since starting the season at #3 in the polls and as the Big 12 favorites.
All of that won't change the intensity in this one as the Wildcats are looking to avenge a loss just two weeks ago and keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. Adding fuel to the fire is a potential #1 ranking for the Kansas Jayhawks after the new polls are released later this week. Bill Self knows Bramlage will be fired up and if there happens to be a 1 in front of the Kansas name going into tonight, it raises the stakes even more.
"Kansas State is a place that is always tough and they are going to want to put a little something back on us for that game here. They are good team. If we are ranked No. 1, it will add to the interest of the game and we have to be ready to play. We know we will get a great effort from them and it will be a great rivalry game for us.
Whether or not it's Kansas, Texas or Ohio State in the top spot will be decided later today but one thing won't change and that's the importance of tonight's game for both sides. For the Jayhawks it's another must win to keep pace with Texas and for the Wildcats it's a must win in order to keep their slowly fading NCAA tournament hopes alive.