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After Upsetting Kansas, How Long Can Kansas State Basketball Keep It Up?

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Jacob Pullen and K-State put on a show Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum. Where has this K-State team been and will they be around the rest of the season?

Like many others in Kansas City, I watched Jacob Pullen and the Kansas State Wildcats put on a show Monday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

Just eight hours before tipoff, Kansas had been named the No. 1 team in the country in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls. Kansas State hasn't been ranked for weeks. Kansas was 24-1 on the season and there wasn't, in my mind at least, a question as to whether they were the best team. Kansas State was 16-9, coming off a loss to Colorado and arguably the biggest disappointment in college basketball this year. 

K-State basketball vs. KU basketball wasn't supposed to be close. The line on the game went from 4 to 7.5 points shortly before the game so Vegas was begging you to take the Wildcats. Kansas is the model of consistency. Kansas State? Consistency isn't the word that immediately comes to mind.

So of course the most disappointing team goes out there and beats up the No. 1 team, 84-68, on ESPN. College basketball is unpredictable so you were almost waiting for something like that to happen. You almost knew Jacob Pullen would blow up with 38 points. You almost knew Kansas State fans would be rushing the court.

(Okay, I'll admit I didn't know. I was shocked. I thought Kansas would embarrass them at home.)

Watching Kansas State on Monday night makes me wonder what's been going on all season because this is a very, very good team. They shot 56 percent Monday night, moved the ball around well, didn't let Kansas take control of the game at any point and fed the rock to Pullen. Now that we're starting to move past the upset victory against Kansas, the question on everyone's minds is:

Can they do it again? Can Kansas State go out there, put a string of good games together, make the NCAA tournament and then...?

My guess is probably not. It's impressive that K-State was able to get up enough to beat the No. 1 team in the country. Make no mistake that this was an emotionally charged game as you could feel the energy through the TV at Bramlage Coliseum. It won't be that way every game for Kansas State.

Their schedule isn't the easiest in the world either. Games against Missouri and Texas won't be easy and those are the types of games they've lost most of the year. Even road trips to a place like Nebraska are far from guaranteed. 

The Wildcats are consistently inconsistent. I would love if we had another local team start to blow up around tournament time. Believe me, I write about sports all day -- I'm rooting for that to happen. But looking at things realistically, Kansas State hasn't won three games in a row since the end of December and into January. The way they've played all season, you can't realistically expect them to start being consistent now.

Hey, maybe I'm wrong and K-State goes on an incredible run. I'd love that to be the case. But K-State's body of work this year suggests otherwise.