March 18, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State men's basketball will make a return to Wichita next season when the Big 12 Conference champions face current No. 1 Gonzaga in the Wichita Wildcat Classic on Saturday, Dec. 21 at INTRUST Bank Arena, Idol Sports and Entertainment and both universities announced on Monday.
The game will be a rematch of the one played earlier this season in the State Farm Battle in Seattle won by Gonzaga.
"We are excited to play a game of this significance in a great venue like the INTRUST Bank Arena in a great area like Wichita with so many loyal K-State fans," said head coach Bruce Weber. "I know that our fan base will pack the building with purple as we face one of the best teams in the country."
Ticket prices for the game at INTRUST Bank Arena start at just $12 each, with an average price below $40, and include a $2 facility fee. Price points include $200 courtside and $150 VIP lower level seats which both include access to an all-inclusive premium lounge featuring a pre-game meal and open bar, as well as tickets available at $12, $20 and $35 each in the upper level and $75 and $35 each in the lower level.
Tickets will be available for purchase exclusively to K-State men's basketball season ticket holders and Ahearn Fund members through season ticket renewals this summer, with ticket assignments occurring in order of athletic department priority points. General public tickets will go on sale on Friday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. through Select-A-Seat www.selectaseat.com or by phone at (855) 755.7328. Group ticket rates will be available through Idol Sports at (480) 635.8720. An allotment of $10 student tickets will be available to K-State students through the ticket office in the fall. Fans may join the K-State men's basketball season ticket waiting list by calling 800.221.CATS.
Fans can sign up for additional game information and ticket sales alerts at www.paintwichitapurple.com.
"As part of our commitment to the best fan experience in the Big 12, we are excited to take K-State Basketball to Wichita for the second time in three years," said athletics director John Currie. "The environment at sold-out INTRUST Bank Arena for the West Virginia game was terrific, and the matchup against Gonzaga presents another great opportunity for our fans and supporters in south-central and southwestern Kansas to attend a Wildcat game and cheer on Coach Weber and our student-athletes."
The game will mark the second time that K-State has played in the 3-year-old arena after dropping a dramatic 85-80 double-overtime game to West Virginia before a sold-out crowd of 15,004 on Dec. 8, 2011. The Wildcats will be playing in Wichita for the 21st time, which includes 15 games against Wichita State and four in the NCAA Tournament at Levitt Arena.
The No. 11/12 Wildcats head into their 27th NCAA Tournament with a 27-7 record, which includes their first conference title in 36 seasons with a 14-4 mark in Big 12 play. The 27 wins are the second-most in the regular season, just two shy of the school-record of 29, and just the school's fifth 25-win season. Overall, it is the 20th conference title in school history and the first since 1977. K-State plays the winner of the play-in game between Boise State (21-10) and La Salle (21-9) on Friday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
The current No. 1 team in country, Gonzaga heads into the NCAA Tournament with a 31-2 overall record after capturing the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles. The Bulldogs, who earned their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, plays Southern (23-9) on Thursday in Salt Lake City.
This will be the fourth all-time meeting between K-State and Gonzaga and the third in the last four seasons. The Wildcats are 2-1 all-time against the Bulldogs, winning 66-64 at home in the Postseason NIT on March 22, 1994 and 81-64 in the semifinals of the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center on Nov. 22, 2010 before dropping a 68-52 decision in the State Farm Battle in Seattle at KeyArena on Dec. 15, 2012.