Kansas men’s basketball has always produced one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the nation and the 2020-21 slate is no different. The Jayhawks’ 18-game home schedule renews an old rival with Missouri, a battle against preseason top-10 foe Creighton, clashes with Pac-12 foe USC and Ivy League power Harvard.
Adding the Big 12 Conference contests, Kansas will potentially face 10 teams, 12 games, currently ranked in the NCAA March Madness Power 36 for 2020-21, with No. 2 Baylor and No. 4 Creighton each ranked ahead of No. 7 Kansas. Kentucky at No. 8, Virginia (10), Texas Tech (17), West Virginia (18), UCLA (19), Texas (22) and Oklahoma (26) are also potential upcoming KU foes ranked in the NCAA March Madness preseason poll. Virginia and UCLA, along with Georgetown, are part of the Wooden Legacy Tournament, Nov. 26-27, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. Additionally, these figures do not include KU’s Jan. 30 opponent for the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
“Once again we will have one of the toughest schedules in the country,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “We have a minimum of four games against teams that will be ranked in the preseason top 10 with Kentucky, Creighton and Baylor. And that does not even mention the other teams that will be ranked like USC, Colorado, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Texas and the SEC opponent just to mention a few. I’m already excited for the season and know our fans will be as well.”
Kansas Athletics recently announced that for the 2020-21 season, Allen Fieldhouse will expand from three to eight pricing tiers, including four tiers that are lower than any season ticket price from last season. This new structure will lower the cost of season tickets for almost 45 percent of Allen Fieldhouse season ticket holders from last year.
Additionally, the Dec. 12 Border Showdown vs. Missouri at the Sprint Center is only available by purchasing season tickets through KU. Once KU season ticket sales are completed, all remaining inventory for the Dec. 12 game will be made available to Missouri. If they do not sell that allotment, those limited tickets will be made available to the general public.
To order season tickets, fans must be active members of the Williams Education Fund, which starts at $100 annually. Men’s basketball season tickets are allocated according to Williams Education Fund policies and subject to availability. More information is available through the Williams Education Fund by calling 785.864.3946 or [email protected].
The season starts off with the two winningest programs in NCAA Division I history with Kansas facing Kentucky in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago on Nov. 10. KU will then open home play for three games against Southern Utah (Nov. 13), Eastern Illinois (Nov. 16) and Stony Brook (Nov. 20) before heading to the Wooden Legacy Tournament.
Creighton finished No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll in March and will make its first trip to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 3. KU will then host Omaha Dec. 8 before playing host to Missouri Dec. 12 in the first of six Border Showdown Series matchups. USC will then play at Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 19 and KU will close out the pre-holiday slate at former conference foe Colorado on Dec. 22. KU will host Harvard on Dec. 29 before opening Big 12 play Jan. 2.
Kansas is coming off a 28-3 record in 2019-20 where the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular-season title with a conference record 17 wins in going 17-1 and winning its final 16 games of the season. KU ended 2019-20 No. 1 in the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls before the pandemic shortened season.
KU ended No. 2 in the 2019-20 NET rankings. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule was No. 1. Kansas was the only school with 12 Quadrant 1 wins. KU’s 20 Q1 and Q2 combined wins are also more than any other school.
Over the last 17 seasons, the Big 12 has proven to be one of the toughest league’s in the NCAA, making the Jayhawks’ run of 15 league titles since 2004 even more impressive. Beginning in the 2003-04 season, the Big 12 has ranked as the nation’s No. 1 conference in the RPI/NET rankings six times and in the top-three on 11 occasions. In 2019-20, the conference trended in the same direction as it ended as the second highest-rated league in the NET rankings.
The Big 12 Conference schedule will be released later in the summer. Below is brief series information on the 2020-21 KU nonconference schedule.
Nov. 10 (Tues.) – Kentucky (Champions Classic, United Center, Chicago)
Nov. 13 (Fri.) – SOUTHERN UTAH
Nov. 16 (Mon.) – EASTERN ILLINOIS
Nov. 20 (Fri.) – STONY BROOK
Nov. 26-27 – TBD (Wooden Legacy Tournament, Anaheim Arena, Anaheim, Calif. – Georgetown, UCLA, Virginia)
Dec. 3 (Thurs.) – CREIGHTON
Dec. 8 (Tues.) – OMAHA
Dec. 12 (Sat.) – MISSOURI (Border Showdown Series, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
Dec. 19 (Sat.) – USC
Dec. 22 (Tues.) – at Colorado
Dec. 29 (Tues.) – HARVARD
Jan. 30 (Sat.) – at TBD (Big 12/SEC Challenge)