MANHATTAN, Kan. – Four weekend home games at Bramlage Coliseum, the Paradise Jam Tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the return of the Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center, highlight the 2018-19 Kansas State men’s basketball non-conference schedule released by athletic department officials on Wednesday (June 20).
The 116th season of K-State men’s basketball officially gets underway on Friday, November 9 when the Wildcats host Kennesaw State in the first of back-to-back regular-season home games at Bramlage Coliseum.
“As I have said many times that scheduling is just as important as recruiting and we think that we have put together a strong non-conference schedule,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “It has a good combination of home games as well as some road and neutral site challenges that will get us ready for the Big 12.”
K-State previously announced several components of its non-conference schedule, including the Paradise Jam on Friday-Monday, November 16-19, a road date at Marquette on Saturday, December 1 in the start of a home-and-home series, the Wildcat Classic contest with Vanderbilt at the Sprint Center on Saturday, December 22 and a road tilt with Texas A&M in the sixth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, January 26, 2019.
In all, the Wildcats will play at least 16 home games in 2018-19, including the nine-game Big 12 schedule with visits from NCAA Tournament teams Kansas, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia as well as NIT participants Baylor and Oklahoma State. The complete Big 12 schedule will be released later.
“With such an experienced team coming back, we wanted to make sure we provided enough challenges to continue to build on what we have accomplished the last two seasons (NCAA Tournament bids),” said Weber. “The Paradise Jam field has a really solid group of teams, including a possible match-up with Missouri. We will have back-to-back road games in early December against NCAA Tournament-caliber teams in Marquette and Tulsa plus we host Vanderbilt – which will have one of the top recruiting classes in the country – at the Sprint Center and play another NCAA Tournament squad in Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.”
K-State will play at least one exhibition prior to the start of the regular season before hosting Kennesaw State (Friday, November 9) and Denver (Monday, November 12) in back-to-back home games. Dates and opponents for those possible exhibitions will be released later in the summer.
The Wildcats will travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Paradise Jam for the first time since 2002 where they will play three games, beginning with Eastern Kentucky on Friday, November 16. The team will play either Northern Iowa or Penn on Saturday, November 17 before wrapping up the tournament on Monday, November 19. Other possible matchups include former conference rival Missouri, Old Dominion or Oregon State. The 19th annual event will return to the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas after being relocated to Lynchburg, Virginia and Liberty University this past November due to hurricane damage.
The squad will return home to host first-time opponent Lehigh on Saturday, November 24 before consecutive road games at Marquette on Saturday, December 1 and at Tulsa on Saturday, December 8. It will be the first in a home-and-home series with the Golden Eagles and the second in a three-game series with Golden Hurricane. Both schools will visit Bramlage Coliseum during the 2019-20 season.
The Wildcats will play three of their next four games at Bramlage Coliseum with visits from reigning Sun Belt Conference Tournament champion Georgia State on Saturday, December 15, Conference USA’s Southern Miss on Wednesday, December 19 and the Atlantic 10’s George Mason on Saturday, December 29. All three schools won at least 16 games a season ago, including 24 wins by Georgia State.
K-State will host the Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center for the eighth time and the first time since 2016 when the team play Vanderbilt on Saturday, December 22. It is the return of a two-game series between the schools, which began with the Wildcats’ 84-79 win over the Commodores in Nashville on December 3, 2017.
The non-conference schedule will conclude on Saturday, January 26, as the Wildcats travel to College Station, Texas to take on Texas A&M in the sixth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Aggies advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons a year ago before losing to eventual national runner-up Michigan. It will be the 27th all-time meeting between the schools and the first in the Challenge series.
All-Big 12 selections Dean Wade (16.2 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) and Barry Brown, Jr. (15.9 ppg., 3.1 rpg.) form the core of a veteran group returning for the Wildcats, who won 25 games for just the sixth time en route to the school’s first NCAA Elite Eight in eight seasons. Wade and Brown were among the top scoring tandems, ranking seventh and eighth, respectively, in scoring in the Big 12 and accounting for nearly 44 percent of the team’s scoring. The Wildcats also return rising juniors Xavier Sneed (11.1 ppg., 5.1 rpg.) and Makol Mawien (6.8 ppg., 3.4 rpg.) as well as point guards, senior Kamau Stokes (9.0 ppg., 3.4 apg.) and sophomore Cartier Diarra (7.1 ppg., 2.0 apg.).
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season went on sale June 11 with a variety of pricing options available, including the return of the Pick 5 Mini-Plan. Current season-ticket holders should receive their renewal information in the mail this upcoming week and have until Friday, July 20 to arrange payment and retain their seats. Fans can purchase season tickets in a variety of ways, including toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets and in-person at the Athletics Ticket Office located in Bramlage Coliseum.
2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule
Day Date Opponent
Friday Nov. 9 KENNESAW STATE
Monday Nov. 12 DENVER
Paradise Jam (UVI Sports and Fitness Center, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Teams: Eastern Kentucky, Kennesaw State, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Penn
Friday Nov. 16 vs. Eastern Kentucky
Saturday Nov. 17 vs. Northern Iowa/Penn
Monday Nov. 19 vs. TBD
Saturday Nov. 24 LEHIGH
Saturday Dec. 1 at Marquette
Saturday Dec. 8 at Tulsa
Saturday Dec. 15 GEORGIA STATE
Wednesday Dec. 19 SOUTHERN MISS
Wildcat Classic (Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
Saturday Dec. 22 vs. Vanderbilt
Saturday Dec. 29 GEORGE MASON
SEC-Big 12 Challenge
Saturday Jan. 26 at Texas A&M