Aug. 25, 2010
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Basketball has a long and rich tradition in the state of Kansas and it again will be on the national radar in 2011, as ESPN announced on Wednesday that the Kansas State-Kansas men’s basketball game will serve as the host for the popular College Gameday Driven by State Farm show on Saturday, Jan. 29 at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Dillons Sunflower Showdown will mark a special anniversary for all Kansans, as it will serve to honor the 150th anniversary of statehood with the 271st meeting between the state’s two flagship universities. The teams met three times last season, including in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. It will mark the third time in four seasons that the College Gameday show has featured the rivalry, beginning first in Lawrence on March 1, 2008 and most recently from Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan on Jan. 30, 2010.
“As we celebrate Kansas Day and the 150th year of our state, we are excited to share this Sunflower Showdown with the entire nation,” said Governor Mark Parkinson. “The tradition of basketball is rich in Kansas, and both the men’s and women’s teams of the University of Kansas and Kansas State University are respected programs in the Big 12. It is a pleasure to welcome College Gameday for the second straight year and for this exciting rivalry.”
The game will be one of eight contests to host College Gameday in 2011, which will begin its seventh season on Jan. 15 for the men’s and women’s doubleheader between Tennessee and Vanderbilt in Knoxville, Tenn. Other sites include West Lafayette, Ind., on Jan. 22 (Michigan State at Purdue), Lexington, Ky., on Feb. 5 (Florida at Kentucky), Philadelphia, Pa., on Feb. 12 (Pittsburgh at Villanova), East Lansing, Mich., on Feb. 19 (Illinois at Michigan State), Blacksburg, Va., on Feb. 26 (Duke at Virginia Tech) and Waco, Texas, on March 5 (Texas at Baylor).
“We are excited about the opportunity for our men’s basketball program and this rivalry to be in the national spotlight as part of ESPN’s College Gameday for the second straight season,” said Athletics Director John Currie. “Last year’s game was one of the highest-rated college basketball games in Big 12 history and having the ability to showcase our program and the entire state of Kansas on such a historical day will be rewarding for all Kansans.”
A spin-off of its successful college football version, College Gameday made its debut on Jan. 22, 2005. Host Rece Davis is joined on the program by former Notre Dame head coach Digger Phelps, former Duke player and assistant coach Jay Bilas and former North Carolina standout Hubert Davis. The show will be expanding to two hours of live coverage in 2011, beginning at 9 am CT each week. Except for Jan. 15, ESPNU will carry the 9-10 a.m. CT hour with ESPN picking up coverage from 10-11 am CT. The primetime hour will continue to air on ESPN from 5-6 p.m. CT.
The contest between the Wildcats and Jayhawks will be the Saturday Primetime game set for 6 p.m. CT, which is typically broadcast by the trio of Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews.
The primetime affair will be one of 17 national television games for the Wildcats in 2010-11, all on the ESPN family of networks. In addition to the game with the Jayhawks, ESPN will broadcast the Virginia Tech game on Nov. 16 as a part of the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon and Big Monday contests with Missouri on Jan. 17, Baylor on Jan. 24, Kansas on Feb. 14 and Texas on Feb. 28. The team will also make at least six appearances on ESPN2 and five more on ESPNU.
Kansas State is coming off one of its best seasons in school history in 2009-10, in which, the Wildcats tallied a school-record 29 wins and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 1988. The squad will return two starters and nine lettermen in 2010-11, including The Sporting News’ third team All-American Jacob Pullen and All-Newcomer Team selection Curtis Kelly.
Season tickets are currently on sale in the Athletic Ticket Office. There are a variety of season ticket options available as well as payment plans. The most convenient way to order tickets is online at www.k-statesports.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at Bramlage Coliseum or by calling toll-free, (800) 221.CATS.