3 Big Monday appearances highlight KSU Big 12 schedule

MANHATTAN,Kan (KSTATE Athletics) Three marquee matchups on ESPN’s Big Monday, along with five Saturday home games, including each in the last four weeks of the regular season, highlight the Big 12 Conference portion of the Kansas State men’s basketball schedule released today (September 5).

The Big 12 season tips off on Wednesday, January 2 when K-State hosts Texas at 8 p.m., CT and ends on Saturday, March 9 when the Wildcats host Oklahoma at 5 p.m., CT on Senior Day.

Every team will get a “bye” during league play for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Wildcats will have an open date between its road game at Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, January 26 and its road game at Oklahoma State on Saturday, February 2.

The nine-game home slate includes five Saturday home games, a pair of Tuesday night tilts against Texas Tech (January 22 at 6 p.m., CT) and archrival Kansas (February 5 at 8 p.m., CT) and two Wednesday night matchups against Texas (January 2 at 8 p.m., CT) and West Virginia (January 9 at 6 p.m., CT).

“In a league as strong as the Big 12 where you play everyone twice, there is no such thing as a great time to play any team,” said seventh-year head coach Bruce Weber. “We are fortunate to play four of our first seven Big 12 games at home, including the season opener against Texas, and have four consecutive Saturday home games to finish the regular season. Those will be huge for building momentum for our team and a big positive for our fans.”

K-State will play on Big Monday three times in 2019 – all on the road in the last three weeks of the season – starting at West Virginia at 8 p.m., CT on February 18, continuing at Kansas at either 6 or 8 p.m., CT on February 25 and concluding at TCU at 8 p.m., CT on March 4. It marks the second-most appearances on the Big 12’s marquee game of the week broadcast in school history, following the four matchups in 2011.

“Playing three times on Big Monday will be great exposure for our program,” said Weber. “Playing at West Virginia, Kansas and TCU to start three consecutive weeks is a tough assignment for any team, but hopefully this is something that our players will take as a challenge.”

In all, the Wildcats will play 16 of their 18 league games against teams that advanced to the postseason a year ago, including eight at Bramlage Coliseum. In addition, five of the nine home league contests will also fall on a Saturday, including the last four of the regular season. These Saturday matchups include NCAA Tournament participants TCU and Oklahoma, NIT participants Oklahoma State and Baylor and regular postseason participant Iowa State.

“I think I say every year that the Big 12 can’t get any better and again it has gotten better,” said Weber. “All 10 teams have a legitimate shot to make the NCAA Tournament, so it will once again be one of the best top-to-bottom leagues in the country.”

All 18 conference games will be broadcast on one of ESPN’s family of networks, including a number of matchups on ESPN and ESPN2. At this time, it appears that all 18 games will be on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Highlighted by the opener with Texas on January 2, K-State will play four of its first seven Big 12 games at home. This includes visits by NCAA Tournament participants West Virginia on Wednesday, January 9 (6 p.m. CT), TCU on Saturday, January 19 (3 p.m., CT) and Texas Tech on Tuesday, January 22 (6 p.m., CT). The road schedule includes a visit to Texas Tech on Saturday, January 5 (1 p.m., CT) and back-to-back visits to Iowa State (Saturday, January 12 at 11 a.m., CT) and Oklahoma (Wednesday, January 16 at 6 p.m., CT).

Following a road game with Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, January 26, K-State will open the second half of Big 12 play with a road trip to Oklahoma State on Saturday, February 2. The visit to Stillwater will be the first of three road games in a four-game stretch, including back-to-back visits to Baylor (Saturday, February 9 at 5 p.m., CT) and Texas (Tuesday, February 12 at 8 p.m., CT). The only home game in that span is a visit by Kansas on Tuesday, February 5 (8 p.m., CT), which is the first non-Big Monday/Saturday rivalry home game since 2013.

K-State will finish off the regular season with four consecutive Saturday home games beginning with Iowa State on February 16 (3 p.m., CT) and continuing with Oklahoma State on February 23 (3 p.m., CT), Baylor on March 2 (7 p.m., CT) and Oklahoma on March 9 (5 p.m., CT). During this span, the Wildcats will play its last three road games on Big Monday, including West Virginia on February 18 (8 p.m., CT), Kansas on February 25 (6/8 p.m., CT) and TCU on March 4 (8 p.m., CT).

The Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship will be held Wednesday through Saturday, March 13-16, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It will mark the 10th consecutive season that the Championship has been played in Kansas City.

Returning 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 and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 2010 in 2017-18.

In all, K-State returns 10 lettermen in 2018-19, including six players who combined to start all 37 games. 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 are currently on sale for K-State’s 16-game home schedule at Bramlage Coliseum. Fans have a variety of ticket packages from which to choose, including the Pick 5 mini plan. Tickets can be purchased toll free at (800) 221.CATS, online at www.kstatesports.com and/or in-person at the Athletics Ticket Office.

The remaining game times as well as the third-tier television slate will be released in the coming weeks.

News and Notes from the 2018-19 Big 12 Schedule
•K-State will start and end the Big 12 season with home games, beginning Wednesday, January 2 against Texas and ending on Saturday, March 9 against Oklahoma… It marks the second time in three seasons (the other coming in 2016-17) that the Wildcats will start and end conference play at home.
•Breaking down the 18 conference games, there are nine games on a Saturday (five at home, four on the road), three games each on Monday (all on the road), Tuesday (two at home, one on the road) and Wednesday (two at home, one on the road)… By month, there will be seven games in January, eight in February and three in March.

· In addition, five of the nine home league contests will also fall on a Saturday, including the last four of the regular season. These Saturday matchups include NCAA Tournament participants TCU and Oklahoma, NIT participants Oklahoma State and Baylor and regular postseason participant Iowa State.
•K-State will play 16 of its 18 Big 12 games against teams that advanced to the postseason (NCAA Tournament, NIT) a season ago, including eight in Bramlage Coliseum… Overall, the Wildcats play 12 games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2017-18.
•The Big 12 opener on January 2 is the latest start since the 2015-16 season at which K-State opened on the same date (January 2, 2016) at home against West Virginia… The Wildcats had opened Big 12 play in December each of the past two seasons.
•K-State will open Big 12 play against Texas for the second time in series history with the first occurrence coming at home to open the 2016-17 campaign, a 65-62 Wildcat win on December 30, 2016.
•K-State will play Texas Tech twice in the first seven conference games (in Lubbock on Saturday, January 5 and in Manhattan on Tuesday, January 22), while the two meetings with Kansas will come in the last 10 conference games (in Manhattan on Tuesday, February 5 and in Lawrence on Monday, February 25).
•K-State will play seven conference games (four at home and three on the road) before playing at Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, January 26… The team will finish with 11 straight conference games (five at home and six on the road) from Saturday, February 2 to Saturday, March 9.
•K-State will have an open date between its road game at Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, January 26 and its road game at Oklahoma State on Saturday, February 2… It is the first “bye” during Big 12 play since the 17th and 18th league games of the 2014-15 season.
•K-State will play consecutive road games on three different occasions, including Iowa State on Saturday, January 16 and Oklahoma on Wednesday, January 16, Texas A&M on Saturday, January 26 and Oklahoma State on Saturday, February 2 and Baylor on Saturday, February 9 and Texas on Tuesday, February 12.
•In contrast, K-State will play back-to-back home games just once (TCU on Saturday, January 19 and Texas Tech on Tuesday, January 22)… The team will open Big 12 play with consecutive home games with George Mason on Saturday, December 29 and Texas on Wednesday, January 2.
•K-State will make three appearances on ESPN’s Big Monday (at West Virginia on February 18, at Kansas on February 25 and at TCU on March 4)… It is the second-most appearances on Big Monday in school history, following the four matchups in 2011… The Wildcats are 8-14 all-time on Big Monday.
•K-State will play Kansas on Big Monday for the 13th time, including the first time at Allen Fieldhouse since 2013… It will be the second all-time meeting with West Virginia on Big Monday with the first coming in 2013 and the first-ever against TCU.
•K-State will play Kansas at home on a non-Big Monday/Saturday for the first time since playing on a Tuesday in 2013 (January 22).
•All 18 Big 12 games will air on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
•The Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship will be played Wednesday-Saturday, March 13-16, which is the latest start date for the league tournament since ran from March 13-16 of the 2012-13 season… The Championship has started no later than March 8 each of the last 4 seasons.

2018-19 Big 12 Schedule

Day Date Opponent (Time/TV)

Wednesday Jan. 2 TEXAS (8 p.m./ESPN2/U)

Saturday Jan. 5 at Texas Tech (1 p.m./ESPNU)

Wednesday Jan. 9 WEST VIRGINIA (6 p.m./ESPN2/U)

Saturday Jan. 12 at Iowa State (11 a.m./ESPN/2/U)

Wednesday Jan. 16 at Oklahoma (6 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

Saturday Jan. 19 TCU (3 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

Tuesday Jan. 22 TEXAS TECH (6 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

[SEC/Big 12 Challenge – at Texas A&M, Saturday, Jan. 26]

Saturday Feb. 2 at Oklahoma State (5 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

Tuesday Feb. 5 KANSAS (8 p.m./ESPN/2)

Saturday Feb. 9 at Baylor (5 p.m./ESPN/2)

Tuesday Feb. 12 at Texas (8 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

Saturday Feb. 16 IOWA STATE (3 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

Monday Feb. 18 at West Virginia (8 p.m./ESPN/U)

Saturday Feb. 23 OKLAHOMA STATE (3 p.m./ ESPN/2/U)

Monday Feb. 25 at Kansas (6/8 p.m./ESPN/2/U)

Saturday March 2 BAYLOR (7 p.m./ESPN2/U)

Monday March 4 at TCU (8 p.m./ESPN/2)

Saturday March 9 OKLAHOMA (5 p.m./ESPN/2)