MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) – Seventeen home games at Bramlage Coliseum, including the inaugural Little Apple Classic that will tip off the season on November 25 and 27, highlight the 2020-21 Kansas State men’s basketball schedule released by athletic department officials this afternoon. (October 26).
Season tickets as well as gameday procedures for the 2020-21 season will be released in the coming days.
“We are excited to finally be able to release our 2020-21 schedule,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “This has been a huge undertaking by (Director of Operations) Drew Speraw and (Executive Associate AD) Casey Scott, as well as (associate commissioner) Jeff Jackson at the Big 12 office and I appreciate their efforts to get this done under incredibly difficult circumstances. We know that changes are most likely going to happen as we go along, but this will give our players a goal to work towards as we continue to practice and get ready for the season.”
K-State will open the upcoming season with five consecutive home games, including the inaugural Little Apple Classic on Wednesday, November 25 and Friday, November 27. The field will include Colorado, Drake and South Dakota with the Wildcats facing the Bulldogs in the second game of a doubleheader on November 25 followed by a renewal of its long rivalry with the Buffaloes on November 27 for the first time since 2011.
K-State will play eight of its nine non-conference games at Bramlage Coliseum, including the return of a home-and-home series with UNLV on Saturday, December 5 and a matchup with former Big 12 foe Texas A&M on Saturday, January 30, 2021 in the previously announced SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The one road game will come in the second edition of the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle with a date and opponent to be released at a later date.
“We feel this is a competitive, non-conference schedule especially for such a new, young team,” said Weber. “Colorado would’ve been an NCAA team a year ago and return one of the top point guards (McKinley Wright IV) in the nation, while Drake, UNLV and Texas A&M were all playing some of their best basketball when COV-19 hit.
“We have veterans like Mike (McGuirl), DaJuan (Gordon), Monty (Murphy) and Antonio (Gordon) who have been in big games, but now have to adjust to being in new roles, while we have several newcomers who will have to take a step up to an entirely new level of competition. This will allow for them to develop and gain experience before Big 12 play.”
The 25th season of Big 12 men’s basketball will have a new wrinkle this season with a pair of conference games in the month of December, as K-State will open at Iowa State on Tuesday, December 15 before hosting Final Four contender Baylor on Saturday, December 19. The Wildcats have faced the Cyclones in an opener more than any other foe (16 times), as the teams will play in the earliest conference opener in school history.
After a break to finish off non-conference play, K-State will resume Big 12 play with a home game against TCU on Saturday, January 2. It will be the first four home games in the first half of league play, including Oklahoma State (Tuesday, January 9), Iowa State (Wednesday, January 13) and West Virginia (Saturday, January 23).
Following the home game with Texas A&M on January 30, the Wildcats will open the second half with a road game at rival Kansas on Tuesday, February 2, which will be the first of two meetings in a two-week span. Home games in the second half include consecutive games with Texas Tech (Saturday, February 6) and Texas (Tuesday, February 9) to go along with Kansas (Tuesday, February 16) and Oklahoma (Tuesday, February 23).
“The Big 12 will once again be one of the best – if not the best – conference in the country,” said Weber. “Every team has a legitimate shot at the NCAA Tournament and beyond. I expect nothing but the same hard-fought, competitive environments that we have seen every year game-in and game-out.”
The last week of the regular season has been left open to accommodate any postponed games, as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship is scheduled for Wednesday-Saturday, March 10-13 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
Game times and television designations will be released as they become official.
News and Notes from the 2020-21 Schedule
- K-State has scheduled 26 of the maximum 27 games allowed by the NCAA with a road game in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle to be announced when it becomes official… There still exists the possibility of an additional non-conference game.
- The schedule includes 11 games on a Saturday (nine in Big 12 play), nine Tuesday games, three on Wednesday, two on Monday and one on a Friday… The 17-game home slate includes seven on Saturdays (5 in Big 12 play), five on Tuesdays, two each on Monday and Wednesday and one on Friday.
- Eight of the nine announced non-conference opponents combined to post a 136-117 record on a .538 winning percentage in 2019-20 with an average of 17 wins per team and includes six schools (Drake, Colorado, Kansas City, UNLV, South Dakota and Texas A&M) that won 16 or more games.
- The nine non-conference opponents come from eight different conferences (Atlantic Sun, Horizon, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Pac-12, SEC and Summit).
- There will be two first-time opponents in Milwaukee and Jacksonville.
- The November 25 season opener will be the latest start in date in 25 seasons since also tipping off the season on November 25 with a home overtime win over Bradley during the 1995-96 season.
- K-State will host a regular-season tournament at Bramlage Coliseum for the first time.
- K-State and Drake will meet for the first time since a 90-41 win by the Wildcats at Ahearn Field House on December 18, 1956, while it will be the first in a season opener since a 79-73 overtime win at home on December 6, 1952… Overall, the Wildcats lead the series, 20-6.
- Colorado will be making its first visit to Bramlage Coliseum since departing for the Pac-12… The Buffaloes have won the last 3 meetings in the series, including a 74-66 win in Manhattan on January 12, 2011… This will be just the second non-conference meeting in the series and the first since the first meeting between the schools on December 18, 1933 at Nichols Gym.
- K-State will play Kansas City (UMKC) for the first time since 2017… The Wildcats are 12-0 all-time at home against the ‘Roos and have won 4 in a row in the series (2010, 2012, 2014, 2017).
- K-State and UNLV will complete a home-and-home series that began with a 60-56 overtime win by the Wildcats at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on November 9, 2019… This will be the Runnin’ Rebels’ first game in Manhattan since the first meeting between the schools on January 4, 1982.
- K-State will play December conference games for just third and fourth time, following a home game against Texas on December 30, 2016 and a road game at Iowa State on December 29, 2017.
- K-State and Iowa State will meet in a conference opener for the 17th time on Tuesday, December 15 with the Wildcats holding a 10-6 edge… It will be the earliest conference opener in school history, surpassing a matchup with Kansas on December 16, 1927 when both teams played in the Missouri Valley Conference.
- K-State and Baylor will meet in the earliest home conference opener on Saturday, December 19… It will be the earliest meeting between the schools since a home-and-home series in 1988 and 1989.
- With the two December conference games, K-State is scheduled to have an even split of 16 Big 12 games broken up in eight-game pods (four home/four road) with the SEC/Big 12 Challenge (home game with Texas A&M) on Saturday, January 30, 2021 serving as the break between the first and second halves.
- K-State is scheduled to finish its round robin with Baylor and Iowa State before it plays rival Kansas twice in the final eight Big 12 games (February 2 and 16).
- K-State is 3-4 all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, including 0-1 against Texas A&M… The Wildcats have won all three home games in the Challenge series (Ole Miss in 2013 and 2016 and Georgia in 2017).
- This will be the first meeting between K-State and Texas A&M at Bramlage Coliseum since a 64-53 win by the Wildcats on February 4, 2012… The home team is 19-3 in the series with the Wildcats posting an 11-0 mark, including 9-0 at Bramlage Coliseum… This will be the fourth meeting since Texas A&M departed for the SEC in 2012, including a 65-53 win by the Aggies in the last meeting on January 26, 2019.
· The contest with Nebraska in the Wildcat Classic at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, which was scheduled for Saturday, December 19, has been postponed… The status of that game will be announced later, as the Wildcats and Cornhuskers are now expected to start their 3-game series at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, December 18, 2021.
- There will be no Wildcat Classic in Kansas City or Wichita for the first time since 2006-07 season.