Kansas State eyes return to Sprint Center next week and next season

The Sprint Center has been good to Kansas State this season.

K-State moved into the top 25 for the first time after beating Florida in Kansas City. Then it thumped Texas and Oklahoma State to advance to tonight’s championship game of the Big 12 Tournament. Now it is hoping to start the NCAA Tournament in Kansas City, too.

If all goes according to plan, the Wildcats will also be back at the Sprint Center next season for a nonconference game.

They are still working on a date and an opponent, but K-State athletic director John Currie said Saturday morning that the Wildcats intend on continuing their annual nonconference trip to Sprint Center for a neutral-court game next season. K-State has played an early game at Sprint Center for six straight seasons.

The future of the game seemed somewhat in doubt when sources confirmed that K-State will play No. 1 Gonzaga at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita next season. Playing two neutral-court games in the same season isn’t easy.

But Currie is hopeful K-State can make it work the same way it did in 2011, when it played West Virginia in Wichita and Alabama in Kansas City.

“That is our intention,” Currie said. “We enjoy playing in Kansas City.”

K-State has several holes in its 2013-14 schedule, but some of its games are known. The Wildcats will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in November and take on Gonzaga in December. Currie said K-State is also expecting to host a game in the new Big 12/SEC challenge at Bramlage Coliseum.

Two seasons from now, K-State will play in the Maui Invitational. Currie said K-State will also compete in the CBE Classic and participate in the Championship of the Legends Classic at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center in future seasons, but he couldn’t remember exact dates for the games.