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L.G. Patterson, Associated Press
Kansas State's Shane Southwell reacts to getting his fifth foul called on him during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 75-59.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — What everyone thought would be a breakthrough season for Kansas State is threatening to turn into a nightmare.

The Wildcats, losers in three of their last four games, have plunged from No. 3 all the way out of the national rankings. There have been player suspensions, player defections and embarrassing player statements from a squad picked by league coaches to win the Big 12 Conference.

Coach Frank Martin, who signed a seven-figure contract extension after guiding the Wildcats to a team-record 29 wins last year, is placing all the blame on himself. He promises to do a better job and get Kansas State back on the same track that produced 72 wins his first three seasons.