The Kansas State Wildcats are on the bubble when it comes to bracketology, or the annual selection for the NCAA tournament (or March Madness...geez, how many names do we have for this?). Everyone knows K-State's story by now -- they were a preseason No. 3 team in the country, started off well early in the season, then started consistently losing culminating in the biggest win of the season last Monday against then-No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks.
The Wildcats are 16-9 on the season and 6-6 in the Big 12. Their schedule has been very tough so while they have an ugly looking record, that doesn't tell the entire story. Duke was No. 1 when K-State lost to them. Florida was a top 25 team, as was Missouri and Texas A&M. Kansas was No. 6 the first time they played (K-State lost). One ugly point is a pair of losses to unranked Colorado.
But here we sit with just a few games remaining and we can't give a definitive yes or no on Kansas State in the NCAA tournament. If they stumble and don't make it, that's a shame, because this is a team folks want in the tournament (and other teams may not want in the tournament after seeing the Kansas game).
SB Nation's Bracketology wiz Chris Dobbertean has this to say on the Wildcats:
The Wildcats finally earned a top 50 win, thoroughly dominating Kansas on Monday night in Manhattan. So, they can add the Jayhawks to a somewhat impressive list of victims that's heavy on fellow bubble teams. The win over KU was significant because it illustrated the Wildcats can win games with a depleted roster. Plus, it came 48 hours after K-State was swept by Colorado, a major demerit on their profile. Frank Martin's team can improve their position significantly if they can grab a pair of upsets in their final marquee win opportunities (Missouri at home and Texas away).
The problem with Kansas State is again the schedule. They have an ugly ending that could mess things up for them. First, they're going to go to Nebraska -- the same place that saw Texas go down. The difficulty of playing in Lincoln is underrated. After that, they host No. 20 Missouri, go on the road to No. 3 Texas and host Iowa State. Worst case scenario I see three more losses there. Best case scenario they run the table.
The headline to this story says the Wildcats "could" land in March Madness. They should because everyone knows what this team is capable of when they're on. So from that respect, teams like that should be in. On the other hand, what if this team heads into the Big 12 tournament with a 19-12 record and 7-9 in the Big 12? That's hard to defend.
Kansas State is currently the biggest question mark in the Big 12. They're a real boom or bust team. Check out Chris Dobbertean's full Bracketology writeup as well as check in with K-State fans at Bring On The Cats.