It has come to my attention that Kansas State fans are offended by how they are referred to as ‘our little brother to the West’ by the Jayhawk Nation. They see this as a form of condescension, and think that they should be shown more respect. They were, after all, ranked #3 in the country before they even played a game this year. They were picked to win the Big 12 in its’ swan song final year, and it is finally time for Jayhawks to acknowledge the quality of their program and success, just as the rest of the nation has.
A November loss to Duke is understandable, the Blue Devils were the top ranked team in the country at the time, after all. Jacob Pullen had an off-night, and went 1 for 12 from the field and ended the night with only 4 points, surely an anomaly. The Wildcats regrouped and went on a 5 game winning streak, including a 24 point drubbing of perennial powerhouse Emporia State- which should carry a lot more weight than the Jayhawks 31 point preseason squeaker over the Hornets, because the Wildcats did this in the regular season. KState then managed to drop back to back games to #24 Florida and unranked UNLV. Pullen and Curtis Kelly were suspended by the NCAA prior to the UNLV matchup for receiving impermissible benefits from the local Dillard’s, so it’s not really fair to count that game.
Kansas State then had three marquis victories, winning easily against UMKC, North Florida and Savannah State, before beginning conference play. Since then, KState has struggled a little, but their 2-4 conference record is much better than Iowa State’s 1-5 in the Big 12. Although they have no chance of winning the conference, the Wildcats might be able to play in the post season. Jacob Pullen’s ego won’t allow him to play in anything less than the NCAA Tournament, so any losses accrued in the NIT Tournament probably shouldn’t count against the program, either.
It is certainly time for the Jayhawk Nation to show Kansas State the respect it has earned. After all, it was only a few years ago that the Wildcats broke Kansas’ 24 year winning streak in Manhattan. Although the only current Jayhawk to participate in that loss was senior Tyrell Reed, (who played almost a whole minute), surely he will be haunted by that loss for decades. Kansas has won each of the last six games since, but that shouldn’t excuse Tyshawn Taylor’s statement yesterday.
“I think the in-state rivalry is something big, but, I mean, I haven’t lost to them yet since I’ve been here so I don’t really know how much of a rivalry it is.” Tyshawn Taylor
True, Kansas leads the series 180-90 overall, is 33-2 over Kansas State since the inception of the Big 12, and has won 9 out of the last 10, but really… isn’t it time we show our little sisters to the West the respect they deserve?
- Kansas State’s Pullen, Kelly suspended by NCAA (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Tully Corcoran: Tyshawn spices up a ‘rivalry’ (CJOnline.com)