Kansas State basketball to play Colorado State in Wichita, then Denver

Kansas State has confirmed it will play Colorado State in a previously reported basketball game on Dec. 19 at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena next season, starting a two-game series that will conclude on Dec. 17, 2016 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The Intrust game will mark a return to Wichita for the Wildcats, who last visited on Dec. 21, 2013, defeating Gonzaga 72-62. K-State also played at Intrust during the 2011-12 season, falling to West Virginia 85-80 in overtime. Both games were played in front of large, loud crowds, which prompted K-State coach Bruce Weber to continue scheduling games in Wichita every other year.

“We are excited to return to Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita to play a quality opponent in Colorado State,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said in a statement. “I know that our fan base has fond memories of our last visit in 2013 when we knocked off Gonzaga, so I know they will again pack the arena with purple.”

Now that the game is officially on the schedule, it allows the Wildcats to continue their tradition of playing a neutral-site game against a known opponent on the final weekend before Christmas. That formula has been good to them in recent years, as they have scored late December victories over Texas A&M, Florida and Alabama in Kansas City and Gonzaga in Wichita.

The return game in the series will allow K-State to play in a NBA arena, which is home to the Denver Nuggets.

Colorado State is coached by former Iowa State head man Larry Eustachy. The Rams were in and out of the top 25 rankings last season, finishing with a 27-7 record and a trip to the NIT.

“Colorado State is a great component of what we think will be another strong non-conference schedule,” Weber said. “They return three starters from a team that won a school-record 27-games and was one of the top seeds in the NIT this past year, so our young team will have to be prepared for a challenging contest.”

Other known games on K-State’s 2015-16 schedule include road trips to Texas A&M and Georgia and two games in the CBE Classic, which includes Missouri, North Carolina and Northwestern, at Sprint Center. The Wildcats will also host Mississippi on Jan. 30 as part of the Big 12/SEC challenge.

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.