Preview: BYU takes on Kansas State in Manhattan

The BYU Cougars will battle the Kansas State Wildcats for the second time this season.

Richie Saunders drives to the basket against Baylor
Richie Saunders drives to the basket against Baylor / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

After the last meeting nearly gave me a heart attack, BYU and Kansas State will face off again on Saturday. The 25th-ranked Cougars hold a 19-7 record (7-6 Big XII) and sit at 5th in the Big XII standings. The Kansas State Wildcats have gone 15-11 (5-8 Big XII) and are 11th in the Big XII. A few weeks removed from BYU's home victory over the Wildcats, what should we look forward to in this weekend's matchup?

Kansas State is struggling down the final stretch of the season, as they have lost the last 6 of their 7 games, with an outlier win against the Kansas Jayhawks. After beating rival Kansas at home, it seems they used up the last of their pixie dust and are falling hard. If they hope to make the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season, they'll need to correct their course as quickly as possible.

Cam Carter, Essam Mostafa
Kansas State's Cam Carter / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages

Following coach Jerome Tang's Naismith College Coach of the Year campaign last season where the Wildcats made a run to the Elite 8, his team is in danger of experiencing March Madness F.O.M.O. this season. Fortunately, they hold the advantage in this game, as every team is struggling to win games on the road this season. The Wildcats' next opponents, in particular, have struggled heavily on the road, winning only 2 of this season's 7 road contests.

BYU has proved that they can lose against anyone on the road. Without their excellent home-court advantage, the Cougars' offense often sputters. Much like Swampy of Love Handle fame, BYU's hotel rooms must be metronome factories, because in road games against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the Cougars ain't got rhythm. BYU will need to play a great game to extend K-State's losing skid.

In the previous matchup, BYU put together a huge lead in the second half, only to have it whittled down to close out the game. The Cougars will need to limit Cam Carter and Tylor Perry's production to stay ahead in this game. If the Cougars can replicate Tuesday's effort from their win over Baylor by playing tough defense and keeping their opponent at a distance, they'll have a good chance of winning this game. K-State has proven they can beat good teams in their house, and BYU has proven that they can lose almost any game. Game on.

You can watch this game on ESPN+ or listen on KSL NewsRadio at 12:00 MST.

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