"Hawktagon" Of Gloom

The numbers are staggering. 23-2 and 45-3.The first set of numbers is the record the Kansas Jayhawks enjoy in Bramlage Coliseum against the Kansas State Wildcats. The second set is the Jayhawks record in the series since 1994.

The numbers are staggering.

23-2 and 45-3.

The first set of numbers is the record the Kansas Jayhawks enjoy in Bramlage Coliseum against the Kansas State Wildcats. The second set is the Jayhawks record in the series since 1994.

That kind of domination is what a fan can point to if they'd like to argue against the Sunflower Showdown replacing the Border War against Missouri in stature for Kansas basketball.

The 23-2 record, Kansas has in Manhattan is almost as astounding. The mood definitely reflects that inside Bramlage Coliseum whenever the Jayhawks come to town, from vulgar chants directed at the opponent to t-shirts that bare a simple phrase that bears the only thing that matters on that night to many a Wildcat faithful on this the night that is essentially their Super Bowl.

"Beat KU."

But, in all but two years since 1988, it hasn't happened. The two wins, which came in 2008 and 2011 reflect former Kansas State coach Frank Martin. He willed toughness and intensity into a program that needed and it showed.

Tuesday night, under new coach Bruce Weber, K-State fought hard and competed in a 59-55 loss to Kansas, which catapulted the Jayhawks into sole possession of first place in the Big 12.

But, even when the Wildcats would pull into the slimmest of leads did it feel like they would beat the Jayhawks.

Weber burned all of his team's timeout before the 6:00 mark of the second half. The feeling was that if they could just hold on against mighty Kansas, they might be able to pull off the upset.

In that sentence alone is the difference in this "rivalry." It's a fun game, but it does have a ways to go to raise the level of fear on the Kansas side.

There's just typically a sense of watching a team that hopes to win against a team that knows it will win when you watch Kansas State play Kansas. It's just the way it is.

For the Wildcats, they'll keep going and reach the NCAA Tournament in March, after likely encountering a big setback when they visit Allen Fieldhouse on February 11th.

Meanwhile, for Kansas, it's most likely another Big 12 championship and then Final Four or bust. As for the games along the way, none of them will particularly stand out. They'll feel important, because the nation's second ranked team gets everyone's best shot each time they step out on to the floor.

The goal is to win what will be the program's ninth consecutive league crown first and as part of the journey, they just happened to win yet another game in Bramlage Coliseum. Now, they'll just do what most teams to do after a nice regular season victory. They'll prepare for the next one.


Phog.net Top Stories