“Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs!”

1 Feb

As soon as the Wildcats suffered their second last-minute loss in as many games on Tuesday night, whispers began about the team’s postseason possibilities from journalists and fans alike.

“They might not even make the tournament.”

“I thought they might be an NIT team, and lately I had been thinking I was wrong, but maybe I wasn’t after all.”

Despite the fact that nine Big 12 games and the conference tournament remain, much discussion revolved around whether Kansas State (15-16, 4-5) will go to the NCAA or NIT in March.

To me, this is bogus. Is it concerning that the team has not put away two in a row that were within reach? Yes, absolutely. Does it mean that they are not going to be one of the best 60-some teams in the country after another month’s time? I highly doubt it.

The title of this post, as you will probably recognize, comes from Jim Mora’s infamous rant. He continues by saying, “Are you kidding me? I just hope we can win a game!”

I imagine if someone had asked coach Frank Martin about whether he thought this was an NCAA or NIT team, his response would have been similar to Mora’s … if not even more noteworthy.

The bottom line is that there are nine basketball games left for the Wildcats in the regular season. None of those can be taken for granted. Each one is difficult, but that means each one is an opportunity. It also means that every game Kansas State has played so far has made it a better team.

For example, before Tuesday night’s game the Wildcats had the second-highest turnover average in the league, second to only Texas Tech. Against the Cyclones, Kansas State only gave it away 12 times – down from 20 in the previous game.

Thomas Gipson, who had not been as much of a factor lately, led the team with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Martavious Irving came off the bench with an 11-point first half effort to give Kansas State a lead going into halftime.

The bottom line is that improvement is being made. A 4-5 start to Big 12 play is not great, but it is not Armageddon either. As such is the case, I believe it is a little early for the NCAA/NIT debate.

Now, just for fun, here is the video of Jim Mora and his “Playoffs?” rant. Enjoy.

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