(TNS) — Kansas State gave arch-rival Kansas all it wanted last season at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks won on a buzzer-beating layup by Svi Mykhailiuk to escape with a 90-88 victory. But it was a game-winning shot that shouldn't have happened. Replays clearly showed Mykhailiuk traveled, which would have sent the game to overtime.
Despite coming up on the wrong end of that result, K-State head coach Bruce Weber hopes it gives his team confidence Saturday as the Wildcats travel to Lawrence.
"You look at our team in (2013), we tied them to win the league," Weber said, "(but) we weren't even in the game there. It wasn't even close. Then we've had a couple where we've stayed a little closer. ... They just always seem to make the plays. Even Iowa State (Tuesday) night, it was back and forth and boom, (Kansas) goes on a little run and make those plays. They play with a great deal of confidence, but I hope our guys come with a good mindset and confidence that they can go in there and find a way to win."
Kansas coach Bill Self said he was "sure" last season's finish on his team's home floor will be talked about non-stop by fans and media members prior to Saturday's 11 a.m. tipoff.
"Obviously, that game should have gone overtime, without question, because Svi did walk on that last play," Self said Thursday during his time on the Big 12 coaches teleconference.
Self said it "would not surprise" him if the Wildcats use Mykhailiuk's travel-that-wasn't as bulletin board material.
"I know that coaches and players use every motivational tactic they can," Self said. "That is certainly a natural one. I can understand why they were upset and disappointed last year leaving Lawrence."
Though Weber stuck to coach-speak — "Every game is a big game" — even he conceded facing the Jayhawks adds extra incentive.
"You only get so many opportunities to play against your in-state rivals," Weber said. "We had a chance in both games last year. We just couldn't get it done down the stretch."
To pick up a victory Saturday, the Wildcats will need a big performance from junior guard Barry Brown Jr. — similar to his outing Wednesday, when he scored a career-high 38 points. Ironically enough, it was the most points scored by a K-State player since 2011, when Jacob Pullen had the same total ... against Kansas, of all teams.
"We need his leadership, but he can't do everything on his own," Weber said of Brown. "He's got to pick and choose. He had a special night (Wednesday), but I thought he took a couple tough ones. Even last year at Allen, he got going a little bit.
"He got in transition, got some layups. Don't settle for long, quick 3s; make sure we get to the hoop."
K-State also leans heavily on fellow junior Dean Wade offensively.
In last season's game at Allen Fieldhouse, scored 20 points and had a chance to give the Wildcats a lead with 5.6 seconds remaining. But his 3-point attempt came up empty.
Weber isn't sure Kansas will defend Wade the same way Saturday.
"They've been playing small ball for the most part," Weber said. "Last year they switched a lot and we got Frank (Mason III) on him some, (Devonte) Graham on him some. ... We'll see how they play it."