No. 25 BYU Looking For Season Sweep Of Kansas State

Feb 23, 2024, 1:10 PM

BYU/Kansas State, Game Preview, Trevin Knell...

BYU basketball takes on Kansas State for the second time this season. This week it's in Manhattan. (Matthew Norton/BYU Photo)

(Matthew Norton/BYU Photo)

BYU basketball is back on the road this weekend as they face slumping Kansas State.

The Cougars defeated Kansas State in Provo on February 10, 72-66, in a game that saw the Wildcats made a late-game run to trim BYU’s double-digit lead.

BYU is making its first trip to Manhattan, Kansas since 1973.

A win for BYU would give them their second season sweep over a Big 12 team this season (UCF) and elevate BYU’s NCAA Tournament resume with a coveted road win.

BYU vs. Kansas State: How To Watch, Listen

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Location: Bramlage Coliseum

Tip-Off: Noon (MT)/1 p.m. (CT)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Pregame begins at 11 a.m.)

What you need to know about No. 25 BYU basketball

One of BYU basketball’s starters, Spencer Johnson, became a father for the first time this week. His wife, Isabella “Issy,” gave birth to their son on Thursday at 2:22 p.m.

Johnson is the only player on BYU’s roster who has started and played in every game this season. He’s 10th in the Big 12 offensive rating among players with at least 20% of possessions used.

BYU enters Saturday’s game against Kansas State riding high after defeating No. 11 Baylor, 78-71. The high-powered BYU offense put together its best performance in Big 12 play by knocking down 14 three-pointers. That was the most threes in a Big 12 game this season by BYU.

But that win is in the rearview mirror. Winning on the road is challenging for anyone in college basketball this season. BYU is no exception.

The Cougars are 2-5 in road games this season. Their last outing away from the Marriott Center was a week ago in a surprising 10-point defeat to then-last-place Oklahoma State, who has since won at Cincinnati.

“Maybe the biggest challenge of this league is being able to come fresh every day because it just wants to rip you to shreds,” said BYU coach Mark Pope. “Whether it’s losses or the competition level or it just wants to tear you down. So you can’t go into the next game fresh. These guys have really embraced that. I think they’re really focused on whatever happened on Tuesday; it doesn’t matter. Because the only thing that matters is us coming into this game fresh.”

BYU starting center Aly Khalifa is fresher than he’s been in weeks. In the win over Baylor, Khalifa had seven assists and zero turnovers, with 14 points and seven rebounds. Before the Baylor game, he was dealing with a flu bug that limited him from being at full strength.

Getting up to speed on the Kansas State Wildcats

The Wildcats have lost three straight since defeating rival Kansas in Manhattan on February 5. That losing streak began with BYU on February 10 in Provo.

Along with the loss at BYU two weeks ago, K-State suffered a gutwrenching setback against TCU on its home floor and a setback on Big Monday versus Texas.

Despite the three-game skid, BYU’s Mark Pope sees K-State posing some challenges. Most notably, the trio of Arthur Kaluma, Cam Carer, and Tylor Perry. Kaluma scored 18 against BYU in the first meeting in Provo.

“Kansas State is just incredibly dangerous. It’s funny, you can play great basketball in this league and lose,” said Mark Pope. “They have three of the most talented scorers in the league. That’s not an overstatement.”

Carter, Perry, and Kaluma are all averaging more than 14 points per game this season.

The current problem facing Kansas State is that the season is slipping away from them. Once viewed as a preseason Top 25 squad by some pollsters entering the year, Jerome Tang’s squad is staring down a spot in the NIT instead of being in a position to make a second weekend NCAA Tournament run as they did last year.

Another home loss for K-State could put an NIT bid in jeopardy.

BYU/K-State Fast Facts


Overall record: 19-7

Big 12 record: 7-6

NET: 11

KenPom: 15

AP ranking: No. 25

Coaches Poll: No. 21

Kansas State

Overall record: 15-11

Big 12 record: 5-8

NET: 76

KenPom: 71

AP ranking: Not ranked

Coaches Poll: Not ranked

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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No. 25 BYU Looking For Season Sweep Of Kansas State