MANHATTAN, Kan. – 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).
K-State Basketball can be heard on Classic Hits 1530 AM/106.7 FM KQNK in Northwest Kansas & Southwest Nebraska as well as Classic Country 1570 AM/94.1 FM KNDY in Northeast Kansas & Southeast Nebraska
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 seven of its eight 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.
The Wildcats will be one of the youngest teams in the country in 2020-21 with just one senior (Mike McGuirl) and the addition of eight newcomers. McGuirl saw action in 29 games with 20 starts, averaging 6.9 points on 42.3 percent shooting and 2.4 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game. The squad also returns sophomores DaJuan Gordon (6.3 ppg., 3.4 rpg.), Montavious Murphy (5.2 ppg., 3.7 rpg.) and Antonio Gordon (4.2 ppg., 3.7 rpg.).