9. Kansas State (13-4, 3-1)
The work that Jerome Tang has done in less than two years in Manhattan should be one of the best stories in college basketball. The longtime Baylor assistant inherited a Wildcats program that finished under .500 in three straight season and led them to the Elite Eight in year one. While Kansas State shed their top talent from that great first team, Tang wasn’t sitting on his hands and has another team that can do damage in the Big 12.
Nonconference play was an up and down affair for the Wildcats, who lost to USC on opening night but later scored overtime wins against Providence and Villanova. Kansas State is actually 5-0 in overtime this season, but also added a dreadful 16-point home loss to Nebraska in the middle of December. However, Big 12 play has been a catalyst, as the Wildcats drubbed new members UCF and West Virginia and later pulled off another overtime upset against Baylor, sitting pretty at 3-1.
The additions of Arthur Kaluma and Tylor Perry have proven to be excellent moves as expected while the development of Camryn Carter into a scoring star has been the story in Manhattan. The unfortunate thing for the Wildcats is that those three losses aren’t exactly looking better as time has gone on. Fortunately, Kansas State is taking advantage of their opportunities in a tough league and legitimate look like contenders in the Big 12 for a second straight season under Tang’s leadership.