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Kansas State Basketball On An Impressive Winning Streak

Is Kansas State basketball on its way back? The Wildcats have won three straight (and five of their last six) thanks in large part to the play of Jacob Pullen.

Kansas State basketball is back...we think?

The Wildcats were once down and out but there's a ray of sunshine in Manhattan these days. K-State has won its last three games and five of its last six (with the one loss coming on a missed buzzer beater). I'm not sure if we've seen the K-State team we grew to know last year -- because, let's face it, this year's team is consistently inconsistent -- but I'm liking what I see from K-State right now.

In the last three games, we've come to know two things: 1.) Jacob Pullen is very good and 2.) K-State can win big games.

First, Jacob Pullen. 38 points. 27 points. 27 points. Those are his three-game totals starting with the KU game. In terms of points, that's his best three-game stretch of the season. What I like about him is that he takes advantage of the free ones. He was 15 of 19 at the free throw line against Kansas, 8 of 8 against Oklahoma and 10 of 11 against Nebraska. 

I go back to Pullen's comments about the NIT. If I were writing some sappy story line, it'd be about Pullen turning it on late in the season to help push the Wildcats into the NCAA tournament. 

Second, K-State has shown us they can win big games. Against Kansas, they came out on fire and walked away with a 16-point victory. Then they went into Nebraska, where Texas had just lost last weekend, and came out with a four-point victory.

That said, K-State has been inconsistent with games like this. It was just Jan. 29  when KU stream-rolled them, 90-66. But we know that they're capable of stringing together a few good wins in a row. That's not something we've seen since conference play started.

So the question now is whether K-State can keep it up. I think they're building a strong NCAA tournament resume but the next two games on the schedule -- Missouri and at Texas -- won't be easy. Then again, Kansas and at Nebraska weren't easy but they won those.

Though it's not measurable, I think momentum is an important factor, especially for a team like K-State. I'd like to see them play both Mizzou and Texas tough, possibly upsetting one (which is a lot to ask), and roll into the conference tournament with some confidence. 

From a selfish standpoint, my job becomes a lot more fun when Kansas State is doing well so I'm rooting for Frank Martin's team to finish the year strong.