Wichita State's men's basketball schedule, released 42 days before the exhibition opener, included an unexpected local twist Wednesday.
The Shockers will play host to Wichita's Newman University, an NCAA Division II school, on Dec. 19 in Koch Arena. It's one of 17 home games, including a Nov. 25 game against Alabama-Birmingham at Intrust Bank Arena.
"Filling the spot right before Christmas was quite challenging, and delayed finalizing our schedule," WSU coach Gregg Marshall said in a statement. "Playing Newman should keep local interest, fill the needed date, and also will not impact our (power rating), either positively or negatively."
WSU opens at home against Charleston Southern on Nov. 13, then plays three games in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan. Former WSU assistant Tad Boyle and his Colorado Buffaloes are the first opponent, which a possible second-round matchup against Maryland and former Shocker coach Mark Turgeon.
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WSU is home for six of seven games between Thanksgiving and Christmas, then begins Missouri Valley Conference play Dec. 28 at Bradley. A New Year's Eve game follows at home against Creighton.