Kansas St, not Jayhawks, favored in Big 12 Basketball

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Instead of shirking from the pressure-causing favorite's label draped around his team's neck, Kansas State coach Frank Martin has decided to wear it proudly.

The fourth-year coach says it's flattering that the league's coaches, his peers, named his team No. 1 in the conference. The Wildcats return only two starters from last year's team that won a school-record 29 games and advanced to an NCAA regional final for the first time since 1988.

But they include senior guard Jacob Pullen, the coaches' preseason pick for Big 12 player of the year. Also on hand are a number of experienced reserves who've seen plenty of action as Martin has slowly taken the program from doormat to contender.

Kansas is picked as No. 2 in the Big 12 this season.

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