Big Monday Home Game Highlights Big 12 Schedule

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– A Big Monday home game and the earliest conference opener in school history highlight the Big 12 Conference portion of the Kansas State men’s basketball schedule released today (September 1).

ESPN’s Big Monday will make a return visit to Bramlage Coliseum on Monday, February 6 when it will once again broadcast the Dillion’s Sunflower Showdown with Kansas at 8 p.m. It will mark the fifth time in the last seven seasons that Big Monday has broadcast the rivalry from Manhattan and the eighth time overall since 1993.

Overall, it will be the Wildcats’ 21st appearance on Big Monday, including the 11th matchup with the Jayhawks.

K-State will open league play at the earliest point in school history, as the Wildcats host Texas on Friday, December 30 at a time to be determined. It will be the earliest start date for a conference opener, surpassing the 1944-45, 1945-46, 1998-99 and 2015-16 seasons which all opened league play on January 2. It will be the first time in Big 12 history that league matchups will be played in December.

In all, the Wildcats will play 14 of their 18 league games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including seven in Bramlage Coliseum. In addition, four of the nine home league contests will also fall on Saturday, including matchups with NCAA Tournament participants Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and West Virginia.

K-State is 62-23 (.729) at home in Big 12 play since the 2006-07 season.

“This league has been the best in the country for the past three years and I anticipate that will be the case again in 2017,” said fifth-year head coach @Bruce. “Not sure there is a such thing as a perfect schedule because you have to play everyone twice, but this year’s slate of games has good balance with only two back-to-back road trips. Obviously, it it’s great to have two of our first three games at home especially against three of the best teams in the league.”

All 18 conference contests will be broadcast on one of ESPN’s family of networks, including four on either ESPN or ESPN2. In addition to its Big Monday matchup with Kansas on ESPN, the Wildcats will play their road opener at Kansas at 8 p.m., on Tuesday, January 3 on ESPN2 while a home game with Iowa State at 6 p.m., on Wednesday, February 15 will also be broadcast on ESPN2. A road contest at West Virginia on Saturday, February 11 will be on either ESPN or ESPN2.

“We are excited to be back on Big Monday for such a big rivalry game,” said Weber. “It’s such an important stage for our program to not only show off our university but the tremendous passion we have for college basketball.”

The team will also play seven times on ESPNU, which includes the opener with Texas, while there will be six appearances on ESPNews. The Wildcats’ road contest with the Longhorns on Saturday, February 18 will appear on the Longhorn Network at a time to be announced later.

After opening league play at home to Texas and on the road at Kansas, K-State will alternate between home and away the rest of January, never playing back-to-back road or home games. The team will host an NCAA Tournament participant on a Saturday three times in the month, starting with Final Four participant Oklahoma at noon on January 7 on ESPNews. The Wildcats will also welcome Baylor at 3:30 p.m., on January 14 and West Virginia at 3 p.m. on January 21, both on ESPNU. Each of their road tilts in January will come mid-week, including at Texas Tech on Tuesday, January 10, at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, January 18 and at Iowa State on Tuesday, January 24.

Following the SEC-Big 12 Challenge at Tennessee on Saturday, January 28, the Wildcats will open the month of February at home against TCU on Wednesday, February 1 before a road game at Baylor on Saturday, February 4. Once again, the team will alternate between home and road contests until playing consecutive away matchups at Oklahoma on Saturday, February 25 and at TCU on Wednesday, March 1. In all, K-State will host five contests in the second half of league play, highlighted by the Big Monday game with Kansas on February 6 and Wednesday games with Iowa State on February 15 and Oklahoma State on February 22. The road schedule includes four consecutive Saturday contests against NCAA Tournament foes in Baylor (February 4), West Virginia (February 11), Texas (February 18) and Oklahoma (February 25).

The regular season rounds out with two road games in its last three contests against Oklahoma and TCU before a Senior Night affair with Texas Tech slated for Saturday March 4. The Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship will be held Wednesday through Saturday, March 8-11, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Armed with a veteran roster, the Wildcats look to build on a 10-day trip to Italy and Switzerland in August with the return of nine lettermen and six players returning with starting experience, highlighted by All-Big 12 Third Team selection Wesley Iwundu and All-Newcomer honorees Barry Brown and Dean Wade Overall, the squad returns five of their top six scorers from last season, along with nearly 70 percent of their rebounding, assist, steal and minute totals. 

Iwundu (11.9 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) is the team’s top returner in scoring, assists and steals, while rising senior D.J. Johnson (9.3 ppg., 5.2 rpg.) is the leader among three returning players (along with Iwundu and Wade) who averaged better than 4 rebounds per contest a season ago.

The squad will also be boosted by the return of a healthy Kamau Stokes, who started 20 of the first 21 games in 20-15-16 before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the year, as well as the continued development of redshirt freshmen Isaiah Maurice and Dante Williams, who measure at 6-foot-10 and 7-foot, respectively. 

Season tickets for the 2016-17 season are now available and can be purchased in a variety of ways, including toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), online at and in-person at the Athletics Ticket Office located in Bramlage Coliseum.

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