WSU finalizes non-conference hoops schedule

Shockers
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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State will play a record number of home dates during the upcoming men’s basketball season.

The Shockers’ 13-game non-conference slate, released Thursday, includes nine on campus and a tenth in downtown Wichita.

The number will expand to 19 regular season home dates by early September when the American Athletic Conference releases its full schedule, along with tipoff times and television assignments. That shatters the mark of 17, set four times previously.

Seven of the 10 non-conference home dates fall on weekends. Six are Saturdays.

The home schedule provides quality in addition to quantity. Five of the 10 non-conference visitors earned NCAA tournament bids in 2019: Gardner-Webb (Nov. 19), Oklahoma (Dec. 14 at INTRUST Bank Arena), VCU (Dec. 21), Abilene Christian (Dec. 29) and Ole Miss (Jan. 4).

Omaha (Nov. 5), Texas Southern (Nov. 9), UT Martin (Nov. 16), Oral Roberts (Nov. 23) and Central Arkansas (Dec. 5) round out the early home slate.

The Shockers’ only pre-conference action outside the Wichita city limits comes Nov. 26-27 at the Cancun Challenge (vs. South Carolina and either West Virginia or UNI) and Dec. 8 at Oklahoma State.

As previously announced, WSU will play home-and-home series with seven conference foes: UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, USF, Temple and Tulsa. The 18-game American schedule also includes road games at SMU and UConn and home contests with Tulane and ECU.

Fans interested in purchasing 2019-20 season tickets may call the Shocker Ticket Office at 316-978-FANS  (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to be placed on the call list. The MBB Waiting List Application Form is also available under the Tickets tab at goshockers.com.

WSU’s 19-game season ticket package (also a record) includes a bonus exhibition game against Division II Northeastern State (Oct. 29). In addition, account holders will have first opportunity to purchase seats for the downtown game against Oklahoma game during a special presale.

Home Cookin’:

  • WSU’s 19 regular season home dates is a program record. The old mark (17) was set four times previously.
  • The 1981 Shockers hold the overall season mark. They played 21 times that year at then-Levitt Arena, helped by three MVC and two NCAA tournament games, and finished with a 19-2 record.
  • A home-heavy schedule is good news for Shocker fans but bad news for Shocker opponents. WSU is 116-11 (.913) in Wichita since the start of the 2011-12 season.

Most Regular Season Home Games:

19 – 2019-20

17 – 4x (Last: 2016-17)

Most Total Home Games:

21 – 1980-81 (w/ 3 MVC and 2 NCAA tournament games)

19 – 2019-20

18 – 2009-10 (w/ 1 NIT game)

18 – 1979-80 (w/ 1 NIT game)

18 – 2010-11 (w/ 2 NIT games)

18 – 2008-09 (w/ 2 CBI games)

17 – 6 times

2019-20 NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT THUMBNAILS:

OMAHA

Tuesday, Nov. 5

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • This is the first meeting with Omaha in 25 years. The Shockers lead the all-time series 2-0 with both wins coming in Wichita.
  • Nov. 5 is the earliest start date in Shocker history – one day ahead of the mark set last year.
  • Omaha (21-13) was runner-up in both the Summit League regular season and conference tournament.

TEXAS SOUTHERN

Saturday, Nov. 9

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • The Shockers are 3-0 against Texas Southern (2-0 under Marshall). All three games took place at Charles Koch Arena. The sides last met in November, 2010.
  • TSU piled up three postseason wins last year, advancing to the semifinal round of the CIT. It was the school’s longest run since winning the 1977 NAIA championship.
  • The Tigers (24-14, runner-up in the SWAC regular season) came up a win short of the NCAA Tournament, losing to Prairie View A&M in the conference tournament final.
  • TSU played 24 true road games in 2018-19 and banked non-conference wins at Baylor, Oregon and Texas A&M.
  • Second-year TSU coach Johnny Jones was a member of LSU’s 1981 Final Four team that defeated the Shockers in the Midwest Regional Final, but WSU avenged the loss the following year at Levitt Arena. Despite 13 points from Jones, the Shockers overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to win 66-65.
  • Gregg Marshall is 1-0 against Jones (the coach). WSU defeated his LSU Tigers, 82-47, in a Battle 4 Atlantis quarterfinal matchup in November, 2016.

UT MARTIN

Satuday, Nov. 16

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • The first of two Cancun Challenge preliminary matchups. The Skyhawks are one of four teams competing in the Mayan Division, along with Boston University, Northern Colorado and Gardner-Webb.
  • WSU and UT Martin have never met on the hardwood.
  • The Skyhawks finished 12-19 last year and were seventh in the OVC race.

GARDNER-WEBB

Tuesday, Nov. 19

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • WSU’s second Cancun Challenge preliminary matchup.
  • The Shockers won the only other series meeting on Dec. 12, 2008 in Wichita.
  • The reigning Big South Tournament champions were a No. 15 seed in last year’s NCAA tournament festivities and lost to eventual national champion Virginia in the first round, 71-56.
  • The Runnin’ Bulldogs finished 23-12 last year with a NET rating of 166.

ORAL ROBERTS

Saturday, Nov. 23

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • This is the 13th meeting all-time between WSU and ORU. The Shockers lead the series 7-5 (4-3 in Wichita).
  • This is the second-straight year that the teams have played in the regular season. WSU and ORU were also closed-door scrimmage opponents in 2016 and 2017.
  • WSU defeated ORU last December in Wichita, 84-63. Markis McDuffie scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half, and the Shockers outscored the visiting Golden Eagles 30-15 over the final 12 minutes.

vs. South Carolina

Cancun Challenge Semifinal

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Cancun, Mexico | Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

  • A semifinal matchup will be the first-ever meeting between WSU and South Carolina.
  • Marshall is winless in two tries against his favorite childhood team – both as head coach at Winthrop.
  • The Gamecocks (16-16) shook off a slow start last year to earn the SEC tournament’s No. 4 seed but missed out on the postseason.
  • Six of the last seven Cancun Challenge champions have gone on to make the NCAA tournament: Bradley (2018), Purdue (2016), Maryland (2015), UNI (2014), Wisconsin (2013) and Wichita State (2012).

vs. Northern Iowa

Possible Cancun Challenge matchup

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Cancun, Mexico | Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

  • The teams have split 56 meetings. All but one took place between 1992 and 2017 when the schools were Missouri Valley Conference rivals.
  • A potential second day battle in the Cancun Challenge would be WSU’s first action against an MVC opponent since its departure for The American.
  • Both WSU (2012) and UNI (2014) won Cancun Challenge titles in their most recent appearances.
  • UNI (16-18) came within a game of the 2019 NCAA tournament, losing to Bradley in the Arch Madness final.

vs. West Virginia

Possible Cancun Challenge matchup

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Cancun, Mexico | Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

  • WSU and West Virginia have never met.
  • The head coaches — Marshall (502) and Bob Huggins (860) — have combined for 1,362 victories.
  • Marshall is 7-5 against Big 12 competition at WSU with wins in seven of the last 10 encounters.
  • The Mountaineers (15-21) accepted a 2019 CBI bid and advanced to the quarterfinals. It was the school’s 15th postseason appearance in the last 16 years.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Thursday, Dec. 5

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • This is the first series meeting.
  • UCA’s challenging non-conference schedule includes games at Georgetown, Duke, WSU, Utah and Marquette.
  • The Bears (14-19) missed the 2019 postseason but advanced to the CBI quarterfinals in 2018. It was the school’s first men’s basketball postseason appearance since transitioning to NCAA Division I in 2006.
  • Head coach Russ Pennell — a Pittsburg, Kan. native and UCA alumnus – led Arizona to the 2009 NCAA Tournament after head coach Lute Olson stepped down for medical reasons. In 2014, he served as interim coach for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and took that team to the Western Conference finals.
  • Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen played collegiately at UCA (1983-87). He arrived as a 6-foot-1 walk-on but grew to 6-8 and became a two-time NAIA All-American. The school has retired his No. 33 jersey. Pennell was a senior point guard during Pippen’s freshman season.

at Oklahoma State

Sunday, Dec. 8

Stillwater, Okla. | Gallagher-Iba Arena

  • A visit to Stillwater marks WSU’s only non-conference true road game and kicks off a four-year home-and-home series with the Cowboys.
  • WSU closed the 2018-19 season with six-consecutive road wins.
  • OSU finished 12-20 last year but ranked 72nd in the NCAA’s NET ratings.
  • The Cowboys lead the all-time series 30-9 (15-5 in Stillwater).
  • WSU’s 78-66 victory in 2017 (keyed by 30 points from Landry Shamet) was the school’s first win at Gallagher-Iba Arena in 60 years.

OKLAHOMA

Saturday, Dec. 14

Wichita | INTRUST Bank Arena

  • The Shockers play their 10th annual downtown game. WSU is 7-2 at INTRUST Bank Arena but one of those two defeats came at the hands of the Sooners (2017).
  • The teams play for the fourth-consecutive year. WSU downed OU in 2016 in Oklahoma City but has dropped the last two.
  • The Sooners (20-14) advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA tournament.

VCU

Saturday, Dec. 21

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • The back-end of a home-and-home that began last December in Richmond, Va.
  • VCU invades the Roundhouse for the first time since February, 2011 when the Final Four-bound Rams edged the NIT Champion Shockers on a last-second free throw.
  • VCU has won three of the five meetings all-time.
  • The Rams (25-8, 16-2) are the defending Atlantic 10 regular season champions and have played in eight of the last nine NCAA tournaments. They earned a No. 8 seed in the 2019 tourney but fell to UCF in the first round.

ABILENE CHRISTIAN

Sunday, Dec. 29

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • WSU faces Abilene Christian for the first time since January, 1986. Four of the five meetings in the series (all Shocker home victories) came during the Gene Smithson Era.
  • ACU (27-7) won the 2019 Southland Conference Tournament and became just the fourth school in the last two decades to qualify for an NCAA Tournament within its first two years of eligibility, joining North Dakota State (2009), Florida Gulf Coast (2013) and Northern Kentucky (2017).

OLE MISS

Saturday, Jan. 4

Wichita | Charles Koch Arena

  • WSU and Ole Miss open a home-and-home series as part of a new scheduling alliance between The American and the SEC.
  • This will be the sixth series meeting and the first since Nov. 18, 2001 when the teams met in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. The schools squared off in four consecutive Decembers from 1994-97 with each side winning twice. The trip to Wichita will be the Rebels’ first since Dec. 13, 1997.
  • Ole Miss finished 20-13 in its first season under Kermit Davis and qualified for NCAA tournament play for the first time since 2015. The Rebels have banked 20-wins in 10 of their last 13 seasons.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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