MANHATTAN, Kan.?– Eight home games at Bramlage Coliseum, including a marquee matchup with Marquette, the Hall of Fame Classic at T-Mobile Center and road contests against regional foes Wichita State and Nebraska highlight the 2021-22 Kansas State men’s basketball non-conference schedule released on Thursday (July 1).
The upcoming 2021-22 season will mark a return to full capacity at Bramlage Coliseum, as the Wildcats open their eight-game non-conference home schedule against Florida A&M on Wednesday, November 10. The team will also host a pair of to-be-determined exhibition games prior to the season opener.
“I have said a number of times that building your non-conference schedule is nearly as important as recruiting,” said head coach?Bruce Weber. “As a staff, you want to build a quality schedule that gives your team a chance at an NCAA Tournament bid, but also help develop them as the season goes along. We still have a relatively young team, so it was important to give them more experience especially at home to build confidence.”
K-State previously announced several components of its non-conference schedule, including the Hall of Fame Classic with Arkansas, Cincinnati and Illinois on Monday and Tuesday, November 22-23 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, a matchup with Wichita State at INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita on Sunday, December 5, a home game with Marquette in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle on Wednesday, December 8 as well as road contests at Nebraska on Sunday, December 19 and at Ole Miss in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, January 29, 2022.
“We already play in the best conference in the country, so our guys are going to play outstanding competition,” said Weber. “But to then add the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City with teams like Arkansas, Cincinnati and Illinois and the three road games at Wichita State, Nebraska and Ole Miss, we feel confident this non-conference schedule gives our team a number of challenges and opportunities to build toward an NCAA Tournament bid.
“Many thanks to (director of operations)?Drew Speraw?for his hard work in getting this schedule built.”
In all, the Wildcats will play at least 17 home games (not including exhibitions) in 2021-22, including the nine-game Big 12 schedule with visits from reigning national champion Baylor and NCAA Tournament participants Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The complete conference schedule is expected to be released early in the fall.
Season tickets for the 2021-22 season will go on sale on Wednesday, July 21.
“It will be great to have a full crowd back at Bramlage this season,” said Weber. “They always provide a huge home court advantage and will be a big lift to our team.”
‘Cats Open with Four of First Six Games at Bramlage Coliseum
K-State will open the 2021-22 campaign with four of its first six games at home, including back-to-back contests to open the season against Florida A&M on Wednesday, November 10 and Omaha on Wednesday, November 17. The Wildcats are combined 7-0 all-time against the Rattlers (4-0) and Mavericks (3-0) in their history.
After a trip to Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Classic, K-State will return home for games against North Dakota on Sunday, November 28 and Albany on Wednesday, December 1. The Wildcats are 2-0 all-time against the Fighting Hawks, while this will be the first-ever meeting with the Great Danes of the MAAC.
Other non-conference home games include a rematch with Marquette in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle on Wednesday, December 8 to go with matchups against Green Bay on Sunday, December 12, McNeese State on Tuesday, December 21 and Morgan State on Wednesday, December 29.
Back to Kansas City
K-State will participate in the Hall of Fame Classic for the third time in program history on November 22-23, as the Wildcats will be joined by an impressive field, including 2021 No. 1 seed Illinois, Elite Eight participant Arkansas as well as American Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up Cincinnati.
The semifinals will take place on November 22 at the T-Mobile Center with the consolation and championship games following on November 23. Specific matchups and game times will be announced later.
The two-day tournament is part of Kansas City’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 induction celebration.
This will be the third time that K-State has participated in the event, advancing to the championship game in its previous two appearances before falling to Top 10 foes Duke (2010) and North Carolina (2015). The Wildcats won each of their semifinal matchups against Gonzaga (2010) and Missouri (2015).
K-State has met each of the three schools at least eight times in their history. The Wildcats own an 8-3 advantage against the Razorbacks but trail the series with the Bearcats (1-7) and Fighting Illini (2-8).
Renew Series with Wichita State, Nebraska
K-State will renew longstanding series with regional foes Wichita State and Nebraska in 2021 with a trip to downtown Wichita to face the Shockers at INTRUST Bank Arena on December 5 followed by a date in Lincoln, Neb., to play the Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena on December 19.
The Wildcats announced a 4-game series with the Shockers in July 2020 with the first game being played off-campus at INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. It will be followed by a home game at Bramlage Coliseum in 2022, another off-campus contest at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City in 2023 before the series concludes at Charles Koch Arena in 2024.
This will be the first meeting between the in-state rivals since 2003 and the first-ever at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 20-11, including a 6-9 mark in games played in Wichita.
K-State was supposed to open its 3-game series with former conference foe Nebraska at the T-Mobile Center in 2020 but that game was pushed back due to COVID-19. The series will now open at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on December 19 in the first matchup in more than a decade.
The two schools, which played 219 games through five conferences (Missouri Valley, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12), will reignite a rivalry that started more than 100 years ago with a 50-14 victory by Nebraska on February 19, 1906, and was last played at the Devaney Sports Center on February 23, 2011, a 61-57 Wildcat win.
K-State leads the all-time series, 126-93, including a 38-55 mark in games played in Lincoln. The 219 meetings represent the fourth-longest series in school history, following Kansas (295), Missouri (237) and Iowa State (233).
Another Familiar Foe in BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle
K-State will face a familiar foe in Marquette in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle on December 8. It will mark the third time in the last four seasons that the two programs have met in the regular season, including the second time in the conference series. The Golden Eagles swept a home-and-home series in 2018-19 and 2019-20, including a 73-65 victory at Bramlage Coliseum in their latest meeting on December 7, 2019.
K-State is 0-1 all-time in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle following that 2019 loss to Marquette. The Wildcats were scheduled to play a road game against Butler during the 2020-21 season, but the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Bulldog program.
K-State and Marquette have a long history with the 2021 meeting serving as the 13th?meeting in a series that dates to 1953. Among the many memorable games stands the 1977 NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals, in which, the Golden Eagles defeated the Wildcats, 67-66, en route to winning the NCAA title under famed coach?Al McGuire.
K-State owns a 7-5 advantage in the series, including a 3-1 mark at home.
First Trip to Ole Miss since 2000 in Big 12/SEC Challenge
K-State will conclude its non-conference schedule on January 29, 2022, with a trip to Oxford, Miss., to take on Ole Miss in the ninth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. It will mark the sixth meeting with the Rebels on the hardwood, including the third in the Challenge series (2013, 2016), and the first in Oxford since 2000.
Two of K-State’s three all-time wins in the Big 12/SEC Challenge have come against Ole Miss, but this will be the first meeting in Oxford since a 60-46 loss in the inaugural matchup on December 5, 2000. The Wildcats posted their first win (61-58) against the Rebels as well as the first in the Challenge series on December 5, 2013, at home before earning another home victory (69-64) on January 30, 2016.
Overall, Ole Miss leads the all-time series, 3-2, including 1-0 at home. The Rebels won the first three meetings in the series, including a sweep of a home-and-home series during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 season and an 86-74 victory in the quarterfinals of the Puerto Rico Tipoff on November 20, 2009.
K-State is 3-5 all-time in the Challenge series and will attempt to win a road game for the first time after all three wins have come at home (Ole Miss in 2013 and 2016 and Georgia in 2018). The team will also be looking to snap a 3-game skid against SEC foes after dropping games to Texas A&M (2019 and 2021) and Alabama (2020).
The Wildcats At A Glance
K-State is set to return four of its top-5 scorers, including super senior?Mike McGuirl?and rising sophomores?Davion Bradford,?Selton Miguel?and?Nijel Pack, for the 2021-22 season. In all, the team will return nine lettermen, including juniors?Kaosi Ezeagu?and?Carlton Linguard, Jr., sophomore?Luke Kasubke?and?Seryee Lewis.
The only Wildcat senior in 2020-21, McGuirl led the team in assists (3.6 apg.) and steals (1.0 spg.) and was second in scoring (11.8 ppg.) while starting all 29 games. The freshman trio of Bradford, Miguel and Pack combined to average 25.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals in 2020-21, as Pack (12.7 ppg.) became the first true freshman to lead the team in scoring since 2013-14.
Three transfers – senior?Mark Smith?(Missouri), junior?Markquis Nowell?(Little Rock) and sophomore?Ismael Massoud?(Wake Forest) – have been added to the roster to go along with a pair of incoming freshmen in?Maximus Edwards?and?Logan Landers.
2021-22 Non-Conference Schedule
Day Date Opponent
Wednesday? Nov. 10 FLORIDA A&M
Wednesday? Nov. 17 OMAHA
Hall of Fame Classic (T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
Possible Opponents: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Illinois
Monday? Nov. 22 vs. TBD
Tuesday? Nov. 23 vs. TBD
Sunday? Nov. 28 NORTH DAKOTA
Wednesday? Dec. 1? ALBANY
Sunday? Dec. 5? vs. Wichita State (INTRUST Bank Arena)
BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle
Wednesday? Dec. 8? MARQUETTE
Sunday? Dec. 12? GREEN BAY
Sunday? Dec. 19? @Nebraska
Tuesday Dec. 21? McNEESE STATE
Wednesday? Dec. 29? MORGAN STATE
Big 12/SEC Challenge
Saturday Jan. 29 @Ole Miss