The final score makes it look like Kansas State stomped Texas Tech without any trouble Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum, but the Wildcats needed big contributions from Thomas Gipson, Nino Williams and Angel Rodriguez to pull away from the struggling Red Raiders.
Before we look back on the 75-55 victory in another edition of Player Ratings, let’s first look at the race for a Big 12 championship, which is tighter than ever with three games remaining.
Kansas and K-State are tied for first at 12-3, and Oklahoma State is right behind them at 10-4.
The Jayhawks have the easiest remaining schedule, so they are the new favorites. Their remaining games are at home against West Virginia and Texas Tech, both of which they should easily win, and their only road game comes at Baylor, which has lost six of eight. After beating Oklahoma State and Iowa State on the road, it’s hard to see them losing again.
The Wildcats’ path to a conference championship is more difficult. They should be favored in their next two games, at Baylor and vs. TCU, but they will likely be underdogs in the season-finale at Oklahoma State. As long as K-State takes care of business against lesser teams like it has all season, its trip to Stillwater will have Big 12 championship implications.
The Cowboys are in the worst position. They need to win their four remaining games, which won’t be easy with a trip to Iowa State and a battle with K-State still to come, and hope Kansas stumbles. But if Oklahoma State runs the table and Kansas loses one of its final three games, the Cowboys will clinch at least a share of the conference title.
It’s possible all three teams could share the championship. The next two weeks should be fun to watch.
Now, onto the Player Ratings:
Thomas Gipson – 9.5: Gipson was simply dominant against Texas Tech. He made seven of nine shots, hit six of seven free throws and had 20 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes of action. He scored eight straight points for K-State when Texas Tech was threatening to pull an upset, and helped the Wildcat secure an important victory. The sophomore forward’s next challenge is to play as well and as hard as he did Monday on a consistent basis against different lineups, not just small front lines.
Last game: 6.5. Average: 6.3.