WILDCATS LOSE, BUT WIN EARN NO. 2 SEED

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In a way, Kansas State backs its way into the Big 12 Conference Championships having lost its last two games of the regular season to Kansas, and Saturday, unexplainable, to the 11th-place Iowa State Cyclones. The Wildcats will play as the No. 2 seed and will face the Oklahoma State – Oklahoma winner from Wednesday's opening round.

Kansas State will have to wait until Thursday to see if it can re-start the Big Purple Machine that rolled up 24 victories this season, including 11 in the Big 12 Conference.

With his Wildcats limping into the Big 12 Championships in Kansas City's Sprint Center, K-State coach Frank Martin said, "I'm not a guy who worries about one day. I'm a guy who looks at the big picture."

What Martin was doing was downplaying Saturday's 85-82 overtime loss to Iowa State. That's a Cyclone team that was just 4-12 and in 11th place in the Big 12. A "disappointing" loss, in the words of Martin, but still it didn't take away from the 24-6 overall record, which included an 11-5 second-place Big 12 mark.

"Now we have to refocus and get back to doing what we've been doing all year," said Martin of the upcoming tournament.

Kansas State will be the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Championships and will play on Thursday at 6 p.m. against Wednesday's winner between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

In head-to-head meetings this year, K-State lost to the Cowboys, 73-69, and defeated the Sooners, 83-68.

With the regular season now history, Martin said it's time to focus on the next two seasons. In his words, "If we win three (at the Big 12 event), we get the trophy. Are we capable of winning three? I would like to think that's a realistic statement. You either win three, or you lose one."

After that, "There are a possible six games (NCAA Tournament), or, one loss … whichever comes first. That's the reality of the world we're getting ready to walk in to," said Martin.

For now, Martin quoted former NFL coach Bill Parcells: "He said, ‘You are what your record tells you you are.' We lost three home games. That's who we are. We're not going to win a Big 12 championship because we can't win at home." Saturday, not even against the lowly Cyclones could the Wildcats win at home because of 34 percent shooting and being out-rebounded by the smaller Iowa Staters.

"Say what you want about our shooting, but you can't win if you don't rebound," said Martin. For the first time since the 1975-76 season, K-State finishes a conference season with a poorer home record (5-3) than on the road (6-2).

2010 PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

Kansas City, Missouri (Sprint Center) Wednesday, March 10 TV Time (CT)

No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Texas Tech Big 12 Network 11:30 a.m.

No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 12 Nebraska Big 12 Network 2:00 p.m.

No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Oklahoma Big 12 Network 6:00 p.m.

No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Iowa State Big 12 Network 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 11

No. 1 Kansas vs. CU/TTU winner ESPN2 11:30 a.m.

No. 4 Texas A&M vs. MU/NU winner Big 12 Network 2:00 p.m.

No. 2 Kansas State vs. OU/OSU winner Big 12 Network 6:00 p.m.

No. 3 Baylor vs. ISU/UT winner ESPN2 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 12

Thursday Afternoon Winners Big 12 Network 6:00 p.m.

Thursday Evening Winners Big 12 Network 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 13

Semifinal Winners ESPN 5:00 p.m.


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