Kansas Basketball Announces Non-Conference Schedule; Renews Mizzou Rivalry


Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nationally ranked non-conference schedules are common for Kansas men’s basketball, and the 2021-22 slate will be no different.

Kansas Jayhawk Basketball can be heard on Z-96.3 The Lake in North Central Kansas and Today’s Country 95.5 KNDY in Northeast Kansas & Southeast Nebraska.

The Jayhawks have led the country in strength of schedule in two of the last three seasons and five times overall during Coach Bill Self’s 18 seasons at Kansas. Additionally, KU has placed in the top 10 in strength of schedule 11 times under Self, including top-two rankings in six of the last eight seasons.

As usual, the non-conference portion of the schedule tips off with the Champions Classic. This year the Classic is in New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the Jayhawks will face Michigan State. The non-conference schedule is also highlighted by games in Allen Fieldhouse against Missouri in the rebirth of the Border Showdown and an opponent in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, as well as UTEP at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Fans can secure season tickets today for all 17 home games, including contests against defending NCAA National Champion Baylor and the rest of the tough Big 12 Conference, as well as Missouri and UTEP. Tickets are available for as low as $500 by clicking here or visiting To order season tickets, fans must be active members of the Williams Education Fund, which can be done for as little as $100. More information is available by calling 785.864.3141.

“Once again I believe we have put together a non-conference slate that will be great preparation for our league,” Self said. “It is certainly a very attractive home schedule with Missouri and our unnamed opponent in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge highlighting our games in Allen Fieldhouse. Then you have the Champions Classic against Michigan State, the Orlando tournament with a great field, going to New York for a second time to play St. John’s and going to Boulder to play Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes. Those are all big games, but what makes our schedule even harder is UTEP, which almost beat us last year, Stephen F. Austin, which won at No. 1 Duke in 2019, and Harvard, which is always a great team under Tommy (Amaker). This is a very competitive schedule that I’m sure if we do well, it will enhance our chances for an excellent NCAA Tournament seed.”

Following an exhibition contest against Emporia State on Nov. 3, Kansas will play Michigan State in the Champions Classic at historic Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Nov. 9. KU is 5-5 in the Champions Classic.

KU will open its regular-season home schedule against Tarleton State on Nov. 12. The Texans, who are coached by former Self assistant Billy Gillispie, were on KU’s schedule last season but did not make the trip to Lawrence due to COVID protocols within the Tarleton State program.

Kansas will complete a two-game homestand when it hosts Stony Brook on Nov. 18. The Jayhawks will then compete at the ESPN Events Invitational at Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Nov. 25, 26 and 28. The field includes 2021 SEC Champion Alabama, which earned a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, as well as Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Miami and North Texas.

KU will then host UTEP on Dec. 7 in Kansas City, Mo., and Missouri on Dec. 11 in Allen Fieldhouse. This will be the first meeting between KU and MU in regular-season play since Feb. 25, 2012, when both schools were members of the Big 12 Conference.

Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference will visit Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 18. KU will then travel to former conference foe Colorado on Dec. 21. KU and CU last met on Dec. 7, 2013, in Boulder, Colo., with the Buffs claiming a 75-72 win and snapping KU’s 19-game win streak over CU that dated back to 2003. Colorado is coached by former KU guard Tad Boyle.

Kansas will close out the calendar year when it hosts Harvard on Dec. 29. The SEC/Big 12 Challenge is expected to be played in January.

Kansas is coming off a 21-9 season in which it finished second in the Big 12 with a 12-6 record. KU also advanced to its NCAA-record 31st-consecutive NCAA Tournament, a streak that started in 1990.

2021-22 Kansas Men’s Basketball Non-conference Schedule

Day, Date – Opponent

  • Wednesday, Nov. 3 – EMPORIA STATE (exhibition)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 9 – vs. Michigan State (Champions Classic, New York, N.Y.)
  • Friday, Nov. 12 – TARLETON STATE
  • Thursday, Nov. 18 – STONY BROOK
  • Thursday, Nov. 25 – vs. TBD, TBD (ESPN Events Invitational)
  • Friday, Nov. 26 – vs. TBD, TBD (ESPN Events Invitational)
  • Sunday, Nov. 28 – vs. TBD, TBD (ESPN Events Invitational)
  • Thursday, Dec. 2 – at St. John’s (Big East – Big 12 Battle)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 7 – UTEP (T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
  • Saturday, Dec. 11 – MISSOURI
  • Saturday, Dec. 18 – STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21 – at Colorado
  • Wednesday, Dec. 29 – HARVARD
  • Saturday, Jan. 1 – Big 12 play begins
  • March 9-12 – Big 12 Championship (T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
  • One game TBD – SEC/Big 12 Challenge

Home games in ALL CAPS

ESPN Events Invitational field – Kansas, Alabama, Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Miami, North Texas

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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