Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin isn't sure how long it will be before the Wildcats return for another game at Intrust Bank Arena.
But he is positive they will be back sometime soon.
"How could I say no after the way this city embraced us?" Martin asked following an 85-80 double overtime loss to West Virginia played in front of 15,004 fans on Thursday. "We've got to find a way to make it work."
K-State athletic director John Currie thinks the same way. He said a number of fans that don't normally make it up to Bramlage Coliseum for games thanked him for allowing the Wildcats to play in Wichita.
"It was awesome to see all the purple in the building," Currie said. "I thought the crowd was loud and into the game."
Over the years, K-State has grown to enjoy neutral-court environments within a short drive of Manhattan. The program has played a regular-season game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., for four straight seasons, with a sellout crowd turning out last year against UNLV. On Dec. 17 the Wildcats will return there to play Alabama, and in 2012 it will face Florida there.
Both Currie and Martin haven't ruled out the idea of also playing in Wichita next season, but the chances go up in 2013 and beyond.
Martin has said he is considering rotating neutral-court games between Kansas City and Wichita on a yearly basis. Playing in both every year is also on the table. So is taking K-State's basketball product to new markets.
"We have a desire to take our program to places where there are K-Staters that are interested in the program and to expand and to continue to focus our efforts nationally," Currie said.
"There are programs like Duke and North Carolina, for instance, that have a lot of people around where the universities are, but also have a lot of people from other areas in the country or limitations on how many people can get into their home arena for games. We are somewhat similar to that.
"We will continue to play games in Kansas City and Wichita on occasion as well as other markets in the country."
Where and when K-State plays those games depends on several different things. With the Big 12 moving from a 16 to an 18-game schedule, there is less room for neutral-court games than ever.
Martin also likes to challenge his team with at least one true road game before conference play begins, and to take his seniors close to home as a thank you for their contributions.
But playing games in front of large, regional alumni bases is important, too.
"We would certainly like to continue looking at being in Kansas City and Wichita as often as possible.," Currie said. "That might be next year. That might be the following year. It depends on the makeup of the whole schedule."