Beginning with a charity exhibition game in October, Kansas State will rekindle its men’s basketball rivalry against Wichita State with a four-game, regular-season series launching in the 2021-22 season, the schools announced on Friday (July 10).
The teams, which last faced off in 2003, will first meet on Saturday, October 24 at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita in a charity exhibition game to benefit organizations providing services for COVID-19 relief. Head coaches Bruce Weber of K-State and Gregg Marshall of Wichita State designated charities to benefit from proceeds raised through ticket sales for the game, including Konza United Way, Crisis Center, Inc., United Way of the Plains and the Wichita Children’s Home. Ticket information for the charity exhibition game will be released at a later date. The charity game has been approved by the NCAA.
The four-game, regular-season agreement calls off-campus at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita on December 5, 2021, where WSU will be designated home team, and at the newly renamed T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on December 22, 2023, with K-State serving as the home team. The Wildcats will host the Shockers on December 3, 2022 at Bramlage Coliseum and the series will wrap up with a game at Charles Koch Arena on December 7, 2024.
“We are excited about renewing the series with Wichita State,” said Weber. “Coach Marshall has built a great program in Wichita and this will be yet another opportunity for our players to play against the best.
“I want to thank WSU athletics director Darron Boatright, Coach Marshall and his staff as well as (Executive Associate AD) Casey Scott and (Director of Operations) Drew Speraw for their hard work in getting this series completed. This is a win-win for the schools, their fan bases and our state.”
The regular-season matchup in December 2021 will be the first meeting between the schools since a 54-50 win by K-State on December 10, 2003 at Bramlage Coliseum. The game at the T-Mobile Center in 2023 will be the first in a city other than Manhattan and Wichita, while the visit to Koch Arena in 2024 will be the first on the WSU campus since a 79-66 win by the Wildcats at then Levitt Arena on December 7, 2002.
K-State leads the all-time series, 20-11, winning 14 of 16 meetings in Manhattan and posting a 6-9 mark in Wichita.
“We’re excited to revive this series,” Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. “It’s something that makes sense and needed to happen. It’ll be great for the fans all across the state with games in Wichita, Manhattan and Kansas City. I’m really looking forward to this series of games. We appreciate both head coaches as well as (WSU athletics director) Darron Boatright and our sport administrator, Casey Scott, for all the work they put into making this happen.”
Under the direction of 14-year head coach Gregg Marshall, Wichita State has become one of the top teams in the country, averaging nearly 26 wins per season and advancing to 7 NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Final Four in 2013. The Shockers collected their 11th consecutive 20-win season during the shortened 2019-20 season, posting a 23-8 overall record and earning a fourth-place finish in the American Athletic Conference with an 11-7 mark.
The series dates nearly 90 years when then Municipal University of Wichita defeated Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, 29-27, at the Henrion Gymnasium in Wichita on December 17, 1932. The schools played off-and-on for the next 30-plus seasons, including a historic 94-86 win by K-State in the 1964 NCAA Midwest Regional Final at the WSU Roundhouse that propelled the Wildcats to the Final Four.
The schools played twice a year during the 1969-70, 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons – splitting the 6-game series – before taking a 15-year hiatus. Beginning with a 77-60 win by K-State at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan on January 6, 1986, the schools would play at least once in 18 of the next 19 seasons (1986-2003), including a pair of home-and-home matchups during the 1986-87 season, and ending with the 2003 meeting.
K-State’s Weber has a long history with Wichita State dating back to his days as the head coach at Southern Illinois, where he posted a 9-1 mark against the Shockers from 1998-2003. Overall, he is 10-1 against WSU with his Illinois team collecting a 55-54 win in the latest meeting on November 25, 2005 at the South Padre Island Invitational in South Padre Island, Texas. Weber and Marshall have never coached against each other.
The Wichita State series is the first of several signed by K-State with regional rivals in the coming seasons, as the Wildcats will face former Big 12 rival Nebraska in each of the next three seasons (2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23), including a pending matchup at the T-Mobile Center on December 19.