MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to take on Ole Miss in the ninth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, January 29, 2022, as ESPN and the two conferences announced the matchups for the annual series on Wednesday morning (June 23).
It will mark the sixth meeting with the Rebels on the hardwood, including the third in the Big 12/SEC Challenge (2013, 2016) and the first at The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss, which was built in 2016.
SEC reclaimed the Challenge series, 5-4, in 2021, as one game (Texas at Kentucky) was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. The Big 12 still owns a 44-35 (.557) advantage in the all-time series with four wins (2014, 2015, 2016, 2019). The two leagues tied for the second time in 2020 with five wins each.
ESPN will provide coverage of all games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU with start times and complete television information to be released later.
“The Challenge series has been a great success for both leagues with competitive games year-in, year-out,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “The winning conference always comes down to one of the last few games played and 2022 should be no exception.
“Ole Miss is a quality non-conference opponent for us, led by a veteran head coach in Kermit Davis, and will be yet another road challenge that already includes Nebraska and Wichita State and the Hall of Fame Classic (Arkansas, Cincinnati and Illinois) on a neutral court in Kansas City. This is a great opportunity for our team.”
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 Wildcats 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).
Two of K-State’s three all-time wins in the Challenge series 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.
Led by veteran head coach Kermit Davis, who sports more than 500 wins in stops at Texas A&M, Idaho, Middle Tennessee State and Ole Miss, the Rebels return seven lettermen, including a pair of starters in rising senior Jarkel Joiner (12.0 ppg.) and junior Luis Rodriguez (7.6 ppg., 6.3 rpg.), from a team that posted a 16-12 overall record, including a 10-8 mark in the SEC, and advanced to the NIT in 2020-21.
Davis and his coaching staff added seven newcomers for 2021-22, including transfers Jaemyn Brakefield (Duke), Nysier Brooks (Miami, Fla.) and Tye Fagan (Georgia) to go with four incoming freshmen.
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. 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 newcomers – senior Mark Smith (Missouri), junior Markquis Lowell (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.
Several aspects of the 2021-22 schedule have been announced, including the Hall of Fame Classic at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, non-conference road games at Nebraska and Wichita State and a home game with Marquette in the Big East/Big 12 Battle. The remainder of the non-conference schedule will be released when it becomes official.
Big 12 / SEC Challenge
Baylor at Alabama
Missouri at Iowa State
Kentucky at Kansas
K-State at Ole Miss
Oklahoma at Auburn
Oklahoma State at Florida
LSU at TCU
Tennessee at Texas
Mississippi State at Texas Tech
West Virginia at Arkansas