According to a release from K-State Athletics, a first-ever matchup on New Year’s Day, along with a Big Monday home game with rival Kansas, highlights the Big 12 Conference portion of the Kansas State men’s basketball schedule released today.
The Wildcats will host former head coach Bob Huggins and his West Virginia Mountaineers in the conference home opener at 4 p.m., on Monday, January 1 on ESPNU. It will mark the first time in program history of playing on New Year’s Day after playing on New Year’s Eve six times in the last 10 seasons.
ESPN’s Big Monday will make a return visit to Bramlage Coliseum on Monday, January 29 when it will once again broadcast the Dillion’s Sunflower Showdown with Kansas at 8 p.m. It will mark the sixth time in the last eight seasons that Big Monday has broadcast the rivalry from Manhattan and the ninth time overall since 1993.
Overall, it will be the Wildcats’ 22nd appearance on Big Monday, including the 12th matchup with the Jayhawks.
For the second consecutive season, K-State will open league play at the earliest point in school history, as the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State on Friday, December 29 at 8 p.m., on ESPNU. It will be the earliest start date for a conference opener, surpassing the 2016-17 season, which began on December 30. It will mark the second straight year that league games will be played in December.
In all, the Wildcats will play 12 of their 18 league games against teams that advanced to the postseason a year ago, including six in Bramlage Coliseum. In addition, four of the nine home league contests will also fall on Saturday, including matchups with NCAA Tournament participants Baylor and Iowa State, NIT champion TCU and Texas Tech.
“The Big 12 consists of some of the best players and coaches in the country, so I know it will once again be one of the best leagues top-to-bottom,” said sixth-year head coach Bruce Weber. “There is no such thing as a perfect schedule as you have to play everyone twice, but we are fortunate to have back-to-back home games on three different occasions as well as three Saturday home games in the month of February. Those will be huge factors in building momentum and we hope will be significant positives for both our team and the fans.”
All but two conference contests will be broadcast on one of ESPN’s family of networks, including four on either ESPN or ESPN2. In addition to its Big Monday matchup with Kansas on ESPN, the Wildcats will play three other games on ESPN or ESPN2, including road games with Kansas on Saturday, January 13 and West Virginia on Saturday, February 3 and a home date with Baylor to end the regular season on Saturday, March 3.
The Wildcats will also play at least 11 times on ESPNU, which includes the opener with Iowa State and the home opener with West Virginia, while there will be one appearance – a home game with Oklahoma State on Wednesday, January 10 – on ESPNews. The team’s road contests with Texas Tech (on Saturday, January 6) and Texas (on Wednesday, February 7) will appear on those school’s respective third-tier television platforms with specifics (times and television outlets) released at a later date.
After opening league play at Iowa State and with West Virginia at home, K-State will alternate between home and away venues over the next three games before hosting back-to-back home contests against Oklahoma (Tuesday, January 16) and TCU (Saturday, January 20) at Bramlage Coliseum. A home game against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, January 10 will be sandwiched between road trips to Texas Tech (Saturday, January 6) and Kansas (Saturday, January 13). Following the home games the Sooners and Horned Frogs, the Wildcats will conclude the first half of league play at Baylor on Monday, January 22.
Following a home game with Georgia in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, January 27, K-State will open the second half of Big 12 play with the Big Monday home game against Kansas. After a two-game road swing at West Virginia (Saturday, February 3) and Texas (Wednesday, February 7), the team will host home games in three of the next four outings, including Texas Tech on Saturday, February 10, Iowa State on Saturday, February 17 and Texas on Wednesday, February 21 with a road game at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, February 14.
The regular season rounds out with two road games in its last three contest against Oklahoma (Saturday, February 24) and TCU (Tuesday, February 27) before Senior Day affair with Baylor set for Saturday, March 3. The Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship will be held Wednesday through Saturday, March 7-10, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.