Kansas State men’s basketball will have a busy non-conference schedule next season.
The Wildcats, which released their non-conference slate Monday, will have nine home games at Bramlage Coliseum along with neutral-site games in Florida and New Jersey and another contest at the Sprint Center.
“We feel that we have put together a challenging non-conference schedule especially for such a new, young team,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said in a release. “We have veterans who have been in big games, but now have to change roles, to go with some new guys who have to step up to a new level. At the end of the day, the schedule has a good balance of home games to go with some road and neutral site opportunities.”
K-State begins the 2019-20 campaign Nov. 5, hosting North Dakota State, which won the Summit League Conference tournament last season. Prior to the season opener, the Wildcats will have a pair of exhibition games (Emporia State and Washburn) in October.
K-State has a marquee home date against Marquette Dec. 7, concluding a home-and-home with the Golden Eagles that began last season. Marquette won that matchup 83-71 last year in Milwaukee. K-State will go on the road Nov. 9 to face UNLV and participate in the Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tipoff in Fort Myers, Florida, from Nov. 25 through the 27th, with a field that includes potential opponents Bradley, Northwestern and Pittsburgh.
A matchup with Mississippi State awaits in Newark, New Jersey, on Dec. 14 as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic, followed by a game against Saint Louis at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Dec. 21.
K-State also will participate in the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge, which is set for Jan. 25, 2020. Though the Wildcats don’t know their opponent yet — it will be announced at a later date — they do know they’ll be on the road in the event for the second straight season.
“With the build of our team, we wanted a road game early (at UNLV) to show the young guys a glimpse of what they are going to face in the Big 12,” Weber said. “The Fort Myers field is really solid with teams from the ACC (Pittsburgh), Big Ten (Northwestern) and Missouri Valley (Bradley). Obviously, it will be exciting to get a really strong opponent at home in Marquette, which is returning one of the best players in the country (in) Markus Howard in the inaugural Big 12/Big East series.
“Then to wrap up against one of the top teams in the SEC in Mississippi State at a neutral site, another NCAA Tournament caliber team in Saint Louis for our annual Sprint Center game and to host a quality team like Tulsa — which has beaten us the last two years — should provide valuable experience for our guys.”
In sum, the Wildcats will play at least 18 home games next season, including the nine-game Big 12 slate. The complete conference schedule will be released later.
K-State will play two exhibitions prior to its regular-season opener for the first time since 2017.
In the first game of the season, K-State will take on North Dakota State for the second time in school history. The Wildcats won the first meeting 70-61 on Nov. 19, 2004. It marks the first time K-State will begin the season against a team that made the NCAA Tournament the year before since 1999, when Arizona beat K-State 88-69 in Tuscon, Arizona, in a game that was part of the Preseason NIT.
The game at UNLV on Nov. 9 is the earliest road game in a season in K-State’s annals. It will be the first contest in a home-and-home series with the Rebels. UNLV won the last matchup 63-59 at the Sprint Center in 2010.
K-State then returns home for games against Monmouth (Nov. 13) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 19) before playing games in the Fort Myers Tipoff. A full tournament schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The Wildcats begin December with three consecutive home games, highlighted by the highly anticipated visit from Marquette on Dec. 7, which has been incorporated into the inaugural Big 12/Big East series. The Golden Eagles, which snapped a four-game losing streak in the series with last season’s win, will visit Manhattan for the first time since a 56-55 loss on Jan. 2, 1986. It will be Marquette’s first game at Bramlage Coliseum.
Following another home game with Alabama State (Dec. 11), K-State heads to New Jersey for its matchup with Mississippi State in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center on Dec. 14 . It will be the fourth meeting between the schools, but the first matchup since 1994. The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season after a 10-year absence.
K-State won’t play again for another week, hosting the Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center for the ninth time, taking on Saint Louis on Dec. 21. The two schools will play for the 20th time, including the first time in a city other than Manhattan or St. Louis. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 10-9.
K-State hosts Tulsa at Bramlage on Dec. 29, which will wrap up a three-game series with the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa leads the all-time series, 7-1, including three consecutive wins. That includes victories in each of the first two matchups of the series the past two seasons, winning in Wichita in 2017 and Tulsa last year. It will be the Golden Hurricane’s first trip to Manhattan since 1989.
A road game against a still-to-be determined SEC foe will finish K-State’s non-conference play on Jan. 25, 2020.
K-State is expected to return eight lettermen from a team that claimed a share of the Big 12 regular-season title last season. All-Big 12 honorable mention selection Xavier Sneed (10.6 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game) and fellow senior Makol Mawien (7.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg) are two upperclassmen the Wildcats will count upon to take on larger roles this season after being a part of back-to-back 25-win teams.
K-State also returns rising juniors Cartier Diarra (6.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg), Mike McGuirl (3.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg) and Levi Stockard III (1.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg) as well as a signing class that includes three high school players (DaJuan Gordon, Antonio Gordon and Montavious Murphy) ranked among the top 200 in the country in the 2019 cycle and junior college All-American David Sloan.
Day Date Opponent
Fri. Oct. 25 EMPORIA ST. (Exh.)
Wed. Oct. 30 WASHBURN (Exh.)
Tues. Nov. 5 N. DAKOTA STATE
Sat. Nov. 9 @UNLV
Wed. Nov. 13 MONMOUTH
Tues. Nov. 19 ARK-PINE BLUFF
Fort Myers Tipoff (Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Fort Myers, Fla.)
Possible Opponents: Bradley, Northwestern, Pittsburgh
Mon. Nov. 25 vs. TBD
Wed. Nov. 27 vs. TBD
Mon. Dec. 2 FLORIDA A&M
Sat. Dec. 7 MARQUETTE
Wed. Dec. 11 ALABAMA STATE
Never Forget Tribute Classic (Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.)
Sat. Dec. 14 vs. Mississippi State
Wildcat Classic (Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
Sat. Dec. 21 vs. Saint Louis
Sun. Dec. 29 TULSA
Big 12-SEC Challenge
Sat. Jan. 25 at TBD
Notes from the 2019-20 non-conference schedule (provided by K-State Athletics)
- The 13 potential non-conference opponents combined to win 222 games on a .515 winning percentage in 2018-19, with an average of 17.1 wins per team. It includes seven schools (Bradley, Marquette, Mississippi State, North Dakota State, Saint Louis, Tulsa and UNLV) that won 17 or more games.
- Four of the non-conference opponents advanced to the NCAA Tournament (Bradley, Marquette, Mississippi State and Saint Louis).
- The 13 potential opponents come from 12 different conferences (ACC, American Athletic, Atlantic 10, Big East, Big Ten, MAAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, SEC, Summit League and SWAC).
- There will be no first-time opponents.
- The Nov. 5 season opener against North Dakota State will be the earliest start in school history and will mark the second time that the Wildcats have opened a season against the Bison, following a 70-61 victory on Nov. 19, 2004. ... It also will be the first time that K-State has opened a season against an NCAA Tournament team since an 88-69 loss at Arizona on Nov. 16, 1999.
- The Nov. 9 visit to UNLV will be the earliest non-conference road game in school history. ... It will be the first trip to the Thomas and Mack Center since Dec. 28, 1984… The Runnin’ Rebels lead the series, 4-2, including wins in both previous meetings (1983, 1984) at the Thomas and Mack Center.
- The games against Monmouth and Arkansas-Pine Bluff are part of the Fort Myers Tipoff. ... The Wildcats are a combined 5-0 against both schools, including 1-0 vs. Monmouth and 4-0 vs. UAPB.
- K-State will play in the Fort Myers Tipoff for the first time, while it is the first regular-season tournament in Florida since the Advocare Invitational (Old Spice Classic) in 2007. ... The Wildcats are 3-2 all-time vs. Bradley, 1-2 vs. Northwestern and 0-1 vs. Pittsburgh.
- K-State will host Marquette for the fourth time, including the first since 1986. ... The Wildcats have won the previous 3 home meetings (1953, 1982, 1986), all at Ahearn Field House.
- K-State has won all 3 previous meetings (1984, 1985, 1994) with Mississippi State, but this will be the first matchup at a neutral site. ... This will be the first game in New Jersey since a trip to Seton Hall in 1940.
- The series with Saint Louis is one K-State narrowly leads, holding a 10-9 advantage. ... The Wildcats have won six of the last seven meetings, including consecutive wins in 2015 and 2016.
- Tulsa has won seven of the eight meetings with K-State, including consecutive wins in 2017 and 2018. ... This will be the first meeting in Manhattan since 1989, which is the Wildcats’ lone win in the series.
- K-State is 8-1 all-time in the Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center with games every year from 2007 to 2012 then again in 2014, 2016 and 2018.