Busting Brackets

TCU vs. Kansas State: College basketball game preview, TV schedule

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Jaylen Fisher
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Jaylen Fisher /

TCU received devastating news on Thursday night concerning one of their players. How will they respond on Saturday versus Kansas State?

TV schedule: Saturday, Jan. 20, 4:00 p.m. ET. ESPNU

Arena: Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas

Both TCU and Kansas State have had to deal with hardships concerning key players this season, and look for role players to step up immediately.

The first happened to Kansas State 13-5 (3-3) when point guard Kamau Stokes went down with a foot injury over a week ago. He was the top passer and a consistent double-figure scorer for a balanced Wildcat team that doesn’t have a true star. That was true — until the injury. Ever since, Barry Brown has gone on a tear, including scoring a career-high 38 points and nearly beat Kansas on the road.

His most recent performance may have been the most impressive, scoring 24 points while holding Trae Young to just 20 points and forcing him to commit 12 turnovers. Cartier Diarra, the freshman guard that’s received more minutes with the Stokes injury, has averaged over 16 ppg and is doing so efficiently. The Wildcats got the biggest win of the season, 87-69 over the No. 4 Sooners.

TCU 14-4 (2-4) will hope to have similar results, as it’s been confirmed that starting point guard Jaylen Fisher is out for the season with a knee injury. He’s grown from his freshman year, averaging over 12.0 ppg and 5.0 apg.

The loss of the sophomore will certainly hurt, but senior Alex Robinson seems up to the task or replacing him. He’s had a miserable start to conference play but played well the two games before the injury. The good news is that, after Fisher left, he had a school record 17 assists in the 96-73 win over Iowa State. As a team, the Horned Frogs shot 60% from the field and played their best defense since Big 12 play began.

Next: How the injuries affect Kansas State and TCU in the Big 12 rankings

Both teams seem equipped to handle the losses without taking a big step back. But that doesn’t mean that either team can afford to lose a winnable game. Kansas State is outside the bubble right now, I think next week’s Bracketology will include them after getting a pair of wins over ranked teams.

Prediction: TCU 83 – Kansas State 90