K-State was on a lot of people's lips as the team to beat in conference, and the Buffs were the fashionable pick as the next up-and-comers.
Early on in the non-conference it looked like one of those predictions would prove prophetic. K-State was 9-1 and ranked fifth in the country. Their one loss was to the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils in a semi-home game for the Wildcats at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
But since mid-December, the teams have reversed roles and now share an identical 12-4 record.
The Buffs are in possession of a five game win streak, and have won 10 of their last 11, including a walloping of the Missouri Tigers in the conference opener. The Wildcats have lost three of their past six and are 0-1 in conference after a loss to the Oklahoma St. Cowboys on Saturday.
For fans of the fast break, this one should be a good one. All-Conference performing guards Alec Burks and Cory Higgins lead the Buffs and preseason All American candidate Jacob Pullen leads the Wildcats. Add in K-State guard Rodney McGruder and you have four extremely athletic guards running the show.
On the inside, K-State will still be without Curtis Kelly, who will miss the final game of a six-game suspension, meaning Jamar Samuels will again patrol the interior. CU will look for Austin Dufault to clean the glass.
This will be a good test for CU. Bramlage Coliseum is not named "The Octagon of Doom" because of its inviting atmosphere. Rather it is an intimidating place to play, and with the Wildcats playing their first conference home game, against a team that is no longer off the radar, the Wildcats faithful should be amped up.
The game tips at 7:00 p.m. MT and can be seen on ESPNU.