K-State To Face West Virginia at INTRUST Bank Arena
April 7, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State will make its first appearance in Wichita for a men’s basketball game since 2002 when the Wildcats face West Virginia and former head coach Bob Huggins in the Wichita Wildcat Classic on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 at INTRUST Bank Arena, Idol Sports and Entertainment and both universities announced on Thursday.
“As part of our commitment to the best fan experience in the Big 12, we are excited to take K-State Basketball state-wide,” said athletics director John Currie. “Playing in Wichita and the beautiful INTRUST Bank Arena is a great opportunity for our fans and supporters in south-central and southwestern Kansas to attend a Wildcat game and cheer on Coach Martin and our student-athletes.”
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“I would like to thank the people of Wichita and INTRUST Bank Arena for the opportunity to bring K-State basketball to Wichita,” said head coach Frank Martin. “This region is home to many of our most loyal supporters and we welcome the chance to bring a game to their backyard. The game should be a tremendous matchup and it gives us the opportunity to bring Bob Huggins, the man who brought us all to K-State, back to the state of Kansas. I think it will be a great experience for K-State and our basketball program.”
Opened in 2010, INTRUST Bank Arena is located in the heart of downtown Wichita. It will mark the second men’s college basketball game in the 15,194-seat arena, following the Dec. 21, 2010 contest between Wichita State and Tulsa. The arena recently hosted the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.
The contest will mark the Wildcats’ first regular-season neutral site game in Wichita since playing in the NCAA Tournament in March 1968. Overall, it will be the school’s 20th all-time contest in the city, which includes 15 games against Wichita State and four in the NCAA Tournament at Levitt Arena. The school’s last regular season game in Wichita came in a 79-66 win over the Shockers at the Kansas Coliseum on Dec. 7, 2002.
It will be the first meeting between Huggins and his former assistant, Frank Martin. In his only season at K-State in 2006-07, Huggins led the Wildcats to a 23-12 overall record, including a 10-6 mark in Big 12 play, and its first trip to the postseason (NIT) in eight years before returning to his alma mater. Martin served as an assistant to Huggins at Cincinnati (2004-05) and K-State before being elevated to head coach on April 6, 2007.
Both teams are coming off 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010-11. K-State posted its fifth consecutive 20-win season and lost to Wisconsin in the third round of the NCAA Tournament to conclude its season at 23-11 overall. West Virginia, just a year off a trip to the Final Four, posted a 21-12 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Big East play, and lost to Kentucky in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
This will be the second overall meeting between K-State and West Virginia on the hardwood and the first since the Wildcats earned a 49-44 win in Morgantown, W.Va., on Dec. 12, 1949. The school is 18-25 all-time against teams from the BIG EAST with its last meeting coming against Notre Dame in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4, 2008. The return of the two-game series will be played at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, W.Va., in 2012-13 on a date to be determined.
Continuing the trend of taking K-State men’s basketball state-wide, the Wildcats will again play a regular-season contest in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 against NIT finalist Alabama. It marks the fourth consecutive season that the squad has played a regular season contest in the arena.