MANHATTAN, Kan. (Kansas State Athletics) – Nine home games at Bramlage Coliseum, including marquee matchups with in-state rival Wichita State and SEC foe Florida, highlight the non-conference schedule for first-year head coach Jerome Tang and his Kansas State men’s basketball program, which was released Monday (July 18).
In addition to its nine home games, K-State will host former conference foe Nebraska in a return of the Wildcat Classic to the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Season tickets for the 2022-23 home schedule as well as the Wildcat Classic in Kansas City are currently on sale through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling (800) 221.CATS as well as online at kstatesports.com. Ticket packages can be found at here.
K-State will officially open the Jerome Tang era on Monday, Nov. 7 against UTRGV. A home exhibition game will be played versus an opponent and date to be announced at a later time.
In all, the Wildcats will play 18 home games in 2022-23, including the nine-game Big 12 schedule with visits from reigning national champion Kansas and NCAA Tournament participants Baylor, Iowa State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech. The conference schedule will be released in the fall.
‘Cats Open with Three of First Four Games at Bramlage Coliseum
K-State will open the 2022-23 campaign with three of its first four games at home, all coming in the first 11 days of the season. The Wildcats will host former assistant coach Matt Figger and his Vaqueros in the season opener on Nov. 7 before traveling to Cal for the first road game of the Tang era on Friday, Nov. 11. The team will return home for games against UAPB (Monday, Nov. 14) and Kansas City (Thursday, Nov. 17).
The Wildcats are a combined 33-2 all-time against their first four opponents, including 21-0 at home against the Vaqueros, Golden Lions and ‘Roos.
First Trip to the Cayman Islands
K-State will participate in the fourth annual Cayman Islands Classic, which runs from Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 21-23 at The John Gray Gymnasium in George Town, Grand Cayman. It will mark just the third visit to the Caribbean for a tournament following the 2002 and 2018 Paradise Jams in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Wildcats will face Rhode Island in the final game of the first day of the tournament at 7:30 p.m., CT on Nov. 21. The K-State/URI winner will advance to face the winner of the contest between Nevada and Tulane on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play at 5 p.m., CT.
In the opposite bracket, the winner of the first game between LSU and Illinois State will play the winner of the second game between Akron and Western Kentucky on Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will open the second day of the tournament at 11 a.m., CT.
The winner of each bracket will face off in the championship game on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m., CT. There will be three consolation games that will precede the title contest at 11 a.m., CT (seventh-place game), 1:30 p.m., CT (fifth-place game) and 5 p.m., CT (third-place game), respectively.
Those interested in travel packages can contact Sports & Entertainment Travel, the official fan travel provider for the Cayman Islands Classic, by visiting their website at www.CaymanIslandClassicTravel.com or reach them by phone at (877) 669-8903.
Visit to Historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Big 12/BIG EAST Battle
K- State will conclude the first month with a visit to historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Nov. 30 to take on the Butler Bulldogs as part of the fourth edition of the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle.
This will be just the second meeting between the programs and the first since Butler knocked off K-State, 63-56, in the NCAA West Regional Final in Salt Lake City to advance to the 2010 Final Four. It will be the first-ever visit to venerable Hinkle Fieldhouse, which is one of the oldest college basketball arenas still in use opening in 1928.
The two teams were scheduled to play in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle at Hinkle Fieldhouse during the 2020-21 season, but the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Bulldog program.
K-State is 0-2 all-time in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle following losses to Marquette in 2019 and 2021. Last season, the Golden Eagles posted a 64-63 win over the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum.
Homestand in December
K-State will play all home games in the month of December, including hosting Nebraska in a return of the Wildcat Classic on Dec. 17 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
The month kicks off with a visit from in-state rival Wichita State for the first time since 2003. Last season, the Wildcats opened the 4-game series with a 65-59 win over the Shockers at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita. K-State is 21-11 all-time against WSU, including 14-2 at home.
K-State will play Abilene Christian (Tuesday, Dec. 6), Incarnate Word (Sunday, Dec. 11) and Radford (Wednesday, Dec. 21) at Bramlage Coliseum in December. This will be the first meeting with ACU since 1986, while IWU and Radford are first-time opponents.
The Wildcats will host the Cornhuskers in the 11th Wildcat Classic game at the T-Mobile Center and the first since 2019. The schools were supposed to open the series at the T-Mobile Center on Dec. 19, 2020, but it was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
K-State and Nebraska have met in Kansas City 22 times with the Wildcats holding a 19-3 advantage. The schools faced off 16 times in the Big Six/Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament between 1944-77 and then on 6 more occasions in the Big Eight/12 Championship between 1979-2001.
The game will be the second in a 3-game series between the former conference foes after the Wildcats earned a 67-58 win over the Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska on Dec. 19, 2021.
Saint Louis snapped K-State’s 5-game winning streak in the Classic with a 66-63 victory on Dec. 21, 2019. The Wildcats are 20-20 all-time in the arena, including an 8-2 mark in the Wildcat Classic.
Host Florida in SEC/Big 12 Challenge
K-State will conclude its non-conference schedule on Jan. 28, 2023, by hosting Florida in the 10th annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. The January meeting will be just the third all-time – all coming since 2010 – between the schools and the first in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. It will also be the first time either team has hosted on their home court.
The series is tied 1-1, as Florida won the first matchup, 57-44, in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla., on December 18, 2010, while K-State evened the series with a 67-61 victory in the Wildcat Classic at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on December 22, 2012.
K-State is 3-6 all-time in the Challenge series with all three wins coming at home (Ole Miss in 2013 and 2016 and Georgia in 2018). The Wildcats will be looking to snap a 4-game skid against SEC foes after dropping games to Texas A&M (2019 and 2021), Alabama (2020) and Ole Miss (2022).
The Wildcats At A Glance
K-State enters year one under Tang, who was hired by the school on March 21 after a 19-year stint in helping build Baylor into a national powerhouse, in 2022-23. The Wildcats return All-Big 12 honorable mention selection and All-Defensive Team member Markquis Nowell (12.4 ppg., 5.0 apg.) and junior forward Ish Massoud (6.8 ppg., 2.8 rpg.). Nowell led the Big 12 in steals (2.2 spg.), while he was second in assists and assist/turnover ratio.
The Wildcats have signed nine additional players for the upcoming season, including transfers Cam Carter (Mississippi State), Jerrell Colbert (LSU), Tykei Greene (Manhattan/Stony Brook), Abayomi “Baybe” Iyiola (Stetson/Arkansas/Hofstra), David N’Guessan (Virginia Tech), Desi Sills (Arkansas/Arkansas State) and Nae’Qwan Tomlin (Chipola College) as well as a pair of incoming freshmen Dorian Finister and Taj Manning.
Greene, Sills and Tomlin have all eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier during their college careers, while Iyiola has grabbed 16 double-doubles so far in college. N’Guessan played in 57 games, including 36 this past season, at Virginia Tech, while Carter and Colbert are both former consensus Top 150 players.