K-State to Visit Butler in Big 12/BIG EAST Battle
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State will travel to historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Friday, December 11 to take on the Butler Bulldogs as part of the second edition of the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle, the schools announced on Thursday (November 5).
The game will be one of 10 contested between the two conferences for the second consecutive season with both ESPN and FOX providing coverage of all games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or FS1. The games will be staggered across various dates with times and complete television information being released at a later date.
“Butler is a terrific addition to our 2020-21 schedule in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “They have a program with great history and tradition and return significant experience from a team that would’ve advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. Obviously, it’s a very challenging first road game, but looking forward to our team experiencing such a historic venue like Hinkle Fieldhouse.”
This will be just second meeting between the programs and the first since Butler knocked off K-State, 63-56, in the NCAA West Regional Final in Salt Lake City to advance to the 2010 Final Four. It will be the first-ever visit to venerable Hinkle Fieldhouse, which is one of the oldest college basketball arenas still in use opening in 1928.
Led by fourth-year head coach LaVall Jordan, the Bulldogs return seven players from a squad that posted a 22-9 overall record, including a 10-8 mark in BIG EAST play, and were expected to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament before the rest of the 2019-20 season was canceled due to COV-19.
Although the Bulldogs lost All-BIG EAST First Team selection and leading scorer Kamar Baldwin (16.2 ppg.), they return three players (Bryce Nze, Bryce Golden and Aaron Thompson) with significant experience in 2020-21, including Nze and Golden who started all 31 games a year ago. The 6-foot-7 Nze led the team in both rebounding (6.6 rpg.) and blocked shots (0.7 bpg.) while averaging 9.2 points on a team-best 62.9 field goal percentage. Thompson ranked fourth in the BIG EAST with a team-leading 4.7 assists per game average to go with 7.2 points per game and Golden was fifth in scoring (7.9 ppg.) on better than 50 percent shooting.
K-State is 24-25 all-time against BIG EAST teams, including 4-15 on the road. The Wildcats lost to Marquette, 73-65, at home on Dec. 7, 2019 in the inaugural Big 12/BIG EAST Battle, which was the second game in a home-and-home series between the schools. The last win against a BIG EAST foe came against Creighton in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament on March 16 in Charlotte.
K-State recently announced its 2020-21 schedule, which includes 17 home games, beginning with the inaugural Little Apple Classic that will tip off the season on Wednesday and Friday, November 25 and 27.
The athletics department is planning for 25 percent capacity inside Bramlage Coliseum with designated reserved seating in a socially distanced configuration. Current season ticket holders will have the option of purchasing reserved season tickets that will be designated by specific chairbacks or Cat Cushions in groups of twos and fours throughout Sections 1-20 and 25-27.