Kansas State University

Kansas State strengthens basketball schedule with home-and-home series vs. Marquette

Kansas State's Kamau Stokes (3) and Mike McGuirl (0) celebrate after a play against UMBC during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Kansas State's Kamau Stokes (3) and Mike McGuirl (0) celebrate after a play against UMBC during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The Kansas State basketball team will bolster its schedule this season with a road game against Marquette, the Wildcats announced Thursday.

The Wildcats and Golden Eagles will play Dec. 1 at the new Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee with a rematch at Bramlage Coliseum in December 2019.

“We’re excited about playing this home-and-home series with a team of Marquette’s caliber the next two seasons,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said in a release. “Obviously, it will be another challenging game for us, especially on the road, as they return nearly their entire team from one that almost made the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT. But it will great to bring them back home to Bramlage Coliseum in 2019.”

Marquette, coached by Steve Wojciechowski, is coming off a 21-14 season that ended in the quarterfinals of the NIT. K-State last played Marquette in 1988 and holds a 7-3 advantage in the head-to-head series.

A road game with Marquette next season makes sense for K-State as the Wildcats look for ways to improve their nonconference schedule, which ranked 336th nationally last season in terms of difficulty and hurt their NCAA Tournament seed.

K-State won 25 games last season and reached the Elite Eight. It expects to return its starting lineup and own a preseason ranking.

Other games currently on K-State's nonconference schedule for next season include Vanderbilt (Sprint Center), at Tulsa, a road game in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and a trip to the Paradise Jam, a three-game tournament that also includes Missouri, Northern Iowa, Old Dominion and Oregon State.

Last week, Weber said the Wildcats had two openings on their schedule, and they wanted to add games with two notable opponents.

He said K-State offered to play Wichita State in Manhattan next season, but the "timing" wasn't right for a series with the Shockers.

Marquette drops that down to one. Weber has said he also hopes to add a quality home game to the 2018-19 schedule.

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