K-State unlikely to return to Sprint Center for nonconference game next season


Kansas State has played a nonconference basketball game at Kansas City’s Sprint Center in each of the past six years, but that streak is unlikely to continue.

On Wednesday, Bruce Weber said the Wildcats are close to finalizing their 2013-14 schedule. And their first trip to Sprint Center won’t come until the Big 12 Tournament.

“Part of the problem with Kansas City is, if you are going to go there you want a good game,” Weber said by phone. “What happens the year after? You have to go on the road and play a quality opponent. Next year (2014-15) we have the Maui Invitational and the Big12/SEC challenge on the road. We already have some road games and a tough tournament.

“That was part of our dilemma. We looked for maybe the possibility of some teams playing us in Kansas City without a return, but we just couldn’t find a good enough opponent. I don’t think that is going to happen.”

Instead, K-State will play neutral-court games against Gonzaga at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita and Tulane in a triple header at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. K-State will also take part in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, along with Auburn, Charlotte, Florida State, Georgetown, Long Beach State, Michigan and VCU.

The Wildcats are scheduled to host Mississippi next season at Bramlage Coliseum in the Big 12/SEC challenge. Weber said they will also host George Washington in the final game of a two-for-one contract.

A return to the Sprint Center for a nonconference game is a possibility for the 2014-15 season. The Wildcats played well in their regular-season trips to the arena in the past six seasons, going 5-1 with a signature victory over Florida last year.