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Wildcats Play No. 1 for 17th Time

By Mark Janssen
 
For the second time in a 12-month period, Kansas State is playing a No. 1-ranked University of Kansas team.
 
That happens tonight on an ESPN "Big Monday" telecast from Bramlage Coliseum starting at 8.

With Ohio State's loss to Wisconsin, coupled with Kansas blitzing Iowa State on Saturday, the 9-1, 24-1 Jayhawks do stand on the mid-February throne of college basketball.
 
To the No. 1 billing, KU coach Bill Self said, "Someone has to be No. 1, but I'm not sure that we deserve it. The team that will be No. 2 (Texas) kicked our butt in this building (Allen Fieldhouse.) I believe the last time a No. 1 team went to Bramlage they got beat, which was Texas."
 
Self was right-on with his facts as last Jan. 19, K-State thumped the No. 1 Longhorns, 71-62. It was only the third win over a top-ranked team in Wildcat history.
 
Following that was a meeting with No. 1 Kansas at the Big 12 Championships in Kansas City where K-State lost, 72-64.
 
To the No. 1 ranking, John Wooden Award candidate Marcus Morris said, "I want to be ranked No. 1. I want to have that chip on our shoulder every time we go out. I want to get everybody's best shot because I think we can take it."

3 WINS OVER A NO. 1 TEAM:
In K-State history, three times in 16 tries have the Wildcats defeated a No. 1-ranked team:

• Jan. 19, 2010 - K-State 71, Texas 62 - Bramlage Coliseum
K-State shot just 38-percent from the field, plus a frigid 1-of-12 from 3-point range, but pounded the Longhorns on the boards, 50-41. The Wildcats opened a 10-point, 36-26, lead at the half and held the lead throughout. Jamar Samuels came off the bench to score 20,while Curtis Kelly netted 17. K-State won the game at the line with 20-of-32 shooting  while Texas was just 9-of-22. No Longhorn scored more than 11 points.

• Jan. 17, 1994 - K-State 68, No. 1 Kansas 64 - Allen Field House:
Askia Jones netted 26 and Anthony Beane added another 18, while Deryl Cunningham starred on the backboards with 10. K-State's defense was outstanding holding Greg Ostertag to two points and three rebounds, and Jacque Vaughn to four points.

• Feb. 8, 1990 - K-State 65, No. 1 Missouri 58 - Bramlage Coliseum
Jean Derouillere scored 24 and Steve Henson 18 to lead the Wildcats to victory. While K-State shot just 39-percent from the field, the Wildcats limited the Tigers to 29-percent shooting.  K-State was down 32-28 at the half, but dominated in the second half. Anthony Peeler led Mizzou with 18 points.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Name the only Wildcat in history that has been on a K-State team that "twice" defeated a team ranked No. 1 in the nation.   Read on.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Askia Jones was a freshman when K-State defeated No. 1 Missouri in 1990. Then as a fifth-year senior, Jones played on the Wildcat team in 1994 that knocked off No. 1 Kansas. Jones had six points against the Tigers, and 24 against the Jayhawks.

NO. 2 TEXAS AWAITING: After tonight's game against the No. 1 Jayhawks, the Wildcats have a potential contest with a No. 2 ranked Texas team on Feb. 28, in Austin.