K-State, Tulsa to Play in 2017 Wichita Wildcat Classic
Kansas State will resume the Wichita Wildcat Classic basketball series at INTRUST Bank Arena when the Wildcats host American Conference foe Tulsa on Saturday, December 9, 2017.
The game will be the Wildcats’ fourth in Wichita in the last seven years, following tilts with West Virginia in 2011, Gonzaga in 2013 and Colorado State in 2015. The team is 2-1 all-time in the Wichita Wildcat Classic, including a 61-56 victory over the Rams in their last matchup in the event on December 19, 2015.
“We are excited to once again play in front of our passionate fan base in Wichita,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “We have had tremendous crowds for each our of games at INTRUST Bank Arena and, with a quality foe like Tulsa, I anticipate another terrific environment.”
The three-game agreement calls for a return game to the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa on December 8, 2018 and a home game at Bramlage Coliseum on a date to be determined in 2019.
Tickets for the Wichita Wildcat Classic will be available first to men’s basketball season ticket holders and Ahearn Fund members beginning Wednesday, June 7. Fans who renew or order their 2017-18 season tickets by the June 23 early-bird deadline will receive complimentary lower-level sideline tickets. General public tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 5, and can be purchased through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling (800) 221.CATS or online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets or through INTRUST Bank Arena at www.selectaseat.com.
Tickets are priced at $50 for lower-level sideline seating, $25 or a Wildcat 4 Pack for $75 for lower-level corner seating, $15 or a Wildcat 4 Pack for $50 for lower-level end seating behind the baskets at the INTRUST Bank Arena. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $5 each in the lower-level end behind the baskets.
An allotment of $5 student tickets will be available to K-State students through the ticket office in the fall.
The game will mark the seventh meeting between the schools and first since a home-and-home series during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. Tulsa owns a 5-1 advantage in a series that dates to 1965. The teams split their home-and-home series with each winning on their own home court, including a 75-69 win by the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum on December 14, 1989. This will be the first meeting at a neutral site.
“Tulsa is a high-quality, non-conference opponent which has advanced to the postseason three times in the last four seasons,” said Weber. “Coach (Frank) Haith has a done a terrific job. They return a solid core of players, including their top 3 scorers, so this will be another challenging game for our guys.”
The Wildcats will return nine lettermen, including three players – Barry Brown, Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade – who started all 35 games for a Wildcat squad that won 21 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Brown and Stokes are the team’s top returning scorers with identical 11.7 points per game averages, while Stokes was the team leader in 3-point field goals (64), assists (4.1 apg.) and minutes (33.3 mpg.) in 2016-17. Brown set a single-season school record for steals with 82, while Wade averaged 9.3 points on nearly 50 percent shooting and is the team’s top returner in both rebounding (4.5 rpg.) and blocked shots (0.7 bpg.).
In addition to its returning lettermen, K-State will welcome five newcomers (juniors Makol Mawien and Amaad Wainright and freshmen Mike McGuirl, Nigel Shadd and Levi Stockard III) as well as redshirt freshmen Cartier Diarra and James Love III, who both missed the 2016-17 season due to injury.
Led by fourth-year head coach Frank Haith, Tulsa is set to return seven players with starting experience in 2017-18 from a team that has advanced to the postseason three times in the last four seasons, including NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2016. Last season, the Golden Hurricane posted a 15-17 overall record, including an 8-10 mark in American Athletic Conference play. Among the eight lettermen returning from 2016-17 include the top three scorers – senior forward Junior Etou (12.6 ppg.), senior guard Jaleel Wheeler (9.3 ppg.) and junior guard Sterling Taplin (9.2 ppg.).
The full non-conference slate, as well as 2017-18 season ticket plan details, will be released later this week.