MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State men’s basketball team has been selected to play in the 21st annual Hall of Fame Classic powered by ShotTracker, which is set for Monday-Tuesday, November 22-23, 2021 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. This will be the third time that K-State has participated in the event.
K-State will be joined in the tournament by an impressive field, including 2021 No. 1 seed Illinois and Elite Eight participant Arkansas as well as American Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up Cincinnati. All four schools in the field rank in the Top 20 for all-time NCAA Tournament appearances – combining for 128 – with each advancing to 31 or more such appearances in their respective histories.
The semifinals will take place on the evening of Monday, November 22 at the T-Mobile Center with the consolation and championship games following on Tuesday, November 23. Specific matchups and game times will be announced later. All four games will air on ESPN networks.
“We are excited about playing in the Hall of Fame Classic again and hopefully playing in front of a purple-packed T-Mobile Center,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “Arkansas and Illinois should be preseason Top 20 teams and Cincinnati always has a quality team, so it will be one of the top preseason tournaments next season.”
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).
Arkansas and Illinois are listed among the Top 25 in many “Way-Too-Early” preseason polls. The Razorbacks won 25 games and advanced to their first Elite Eight since 1995 under head coach Eric Musselman, while the Fighting Illini won 24 games and earned their first No. 1 seed since 2005 under K-State alum and head coach Brad Underwood. The Bearcats have won 20 or more games 10 times in the last 11 seasons and will be led by a first-year head coach in Wes Miller, who was recently hired from UNC Greensboro after earning five consecutive 20-win seasons, four regular-season conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
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).
The Hall of Fame Classic was created by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in 2001 as the Guardians Classic and was later known as the CBE Classic and the CBE Hall of Fame Classic before being rebranded as the Hall of Fame Classic in 2017.
Big 12 teams have won the Hall of Fame Classic nine times in its 20-year history, including four times in the last five seasons. TCU won the 2020 edition of the tournament, knocking off Tulsa and Liberty.
Ticket sales will begin on a date to be determined this summer. Future updates can be found at the tournament’s website at halloffameweekend.com and via the T-Mobile Center’s website at t-mobilecenter.com.
K-State is expected to return 10 lettermen, including super senior Mike McGuirl and rising sophomores Davion Bradford, Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack, for the 2021-22 season. The team is also welcoming five newcomers in transfers Markquis Lowell, Ismael Massoud and Mark Smith and freshmen Maximus Edwards and Logan Landers.