Aug. 12, 2014
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's men's basketball game with Tennessee as part of the second annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 at 2:15 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 6 from Thompson-Boling Arena, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The game will be one of 10 contested between the two leagues for the second consecutive season with ESPN providing coverage of all games on its family of networks. All the contests will occur over a four-day span from December 3-6, starting with Auburn at Texas Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 3.
This will mark the first meeting between the schools on the hardwood.
K-State has met at least one SEC opponent in each of the last six seasons and will now play as many as three in 2014-15, which includes a date with Texas A&M at the Sprint Center on Dec. 20 and a home game with Georgia on New Year's Eve. The possibility also exists to play former Big 12 foe Missouri in the EA Sports Maui Invitational in November.
Both teams are coming off 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2013-14. K-State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the school-record fifth consecutive season with a 20-13 overall record - the school's eighth straight 20-win season - and finished in fifth place in the ultra-competitive Big 12 with a 10-8 mark.
Tennessee (24-13) rattled off eight wins in its last 10 games, including victories over Iowa, Massachusetts and Mercer in the span of five days in the NCAA Tournament to reach its fourth Sweet 16 in eight seasons. The Volunteers finished in fourth place in the SEC standings with an 11-7 record.
The Volunteers will be led by first-year head coach Donnie Tyndall, who was hired on April 22 after guiding Southern Miss to 56 wins and a pair of NIT appearances from 2012-14. Tyndall, who led Morehead State to a pair of NCAA Tournament bids, is faced with rebuilding a team which lost four starters and will rely on rising senior and SEC All-Defensive Team member Josh Richardson (10.3 ppg., 2.9 rpg.). The squad also returns sophomore Darius Thompson, who led the way with 36 steals and was second in assists (2.4 apg.).
The Wildcats are set to return nine lettermen, including five players with starting experience, in 2014-15 to go along with Division I transfers Justin Edwards and Brandon Bolden. The group is headlined by All-Big 12 Second Team selection Marcus Foster (15.5 ppg., 3.2 rpg.) and honorable mention pick Thomas Gipson (11.7 ppg., 6.5 rpg.). Overall, the team returns more than 70 percent of its scoring and 65 percent of its rebounding.
Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are currently on sale in the K-State Athletics Ticket Office with a variety of packages available for the 17-game home schedule. Fans can purchase these tickets toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets and in-person at Bramlage Coliseum.x