KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The easy approach for No. 10 seed Kansas State heading into the Big 12 Tournament would be to approach it with a nothing-to-lose attitude.
Bruce Weber isn't buying it.
"I think there's a lot to lose," said Weber, whose Wildcats face No. 7 TCU at 8 p.m. Wednesday in a first-round game at Sprint Center. "You're done (with a loss), and our whole thing is that this is our last opportunity.
"We had a lot of dreams and hopes coming into the season. Things didn't work out like we had hoped and now you have one last opportunity to leave a little bit of a special legacy."
The only way the Wildcats' season continues beyond this weekend is if they win the championship and earn an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. At 10-21 with a final 3-15 league record, they would have to string four straight victories together in as many nights.
TCU (16-15, 7-11), on the other hand, could be playing for an NIT bid with a decent showing.
The tournament gets underway at 6 p.m. Wednesday with Oklahoma State and Iowa State meeting in the other first-round game. Four quarterfinal games are on tap Thursday, with the Kansas State-TCU winner taking on No. 2 seed Baylor at 6 p.m.
The Wildcats lost both regular-season meetings with TCU, falling 59-57 at home on Kevin Samuel's last-second tip-in, then fading down the stretch to lose 68-57 on Feb. 15 in Fort Worth, Texas.
"Both our games were close," Weber said. "The first one they won on a tip-in at the buzzer and the second one, like a lot of our games, we had a lead in the second half and then they made a run."
TCU has dropped its last two games, falling at No. 1 Kansas, then last Saturday, 78-76, at home to Oklahoma. K-State brings a little momentum to the tournament after snapping a 10-game losing streak Saturday with an impressive 79-63 victory over Iowa State on senior day.
"It definitely means something for us right now, just to get one back in the winning column," K-State senior guard Xavier Sneed, who leads the team in scoring with 14.4 points a game, said after exploding for a career-high 31 against Iowa State. "Just to get that momentum going, get some good energy and positive vibes that we have in the locker room now, today.
"Keep that going for us and hopefully we can get four in a row."
TCU is led by senior guard Desmond Bane with 16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He had 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and eight rebounds against K-State in the last meeting. Jaire Grayer added four 3-pointers in that game and the Horned Frogs made 15 as a team.
"Bane is playing at a night level, doing what seniors are supposed to do," Weber said. "And then they've had some other guys step up. Last week, when they beat Baylor, (R.J.) Nembhard was out and (P.J.) Fuller steps in, and then they got Nembhard back.
"And then Grayer really hurt us in both games with 3-point shooting. We've got to be a little sharper, play a little better."