The inaugural Little Apple Classic will tip off a Kansas State men's basketball schedule that includes 17 home games for the 2020-21 season.
The schedule, released Monday afternoon, also features nonconference home games against UNLV and Texas A&M.
The Little Apple Classic will bring Colorado, South Dakota State and Drake to Bramlage Coliseum for doubleheaders on Nov. 25 and 27. K-State will face Drake on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and former Big 12 foe Colorado on Friday, Nov. 27.
"We know that changes are most likely going to happen as we go along, but this will give our players a goal to work towards as we continue to practice and get ready for the season," K-State coach Bruce Weber said in a statement.
Eight of the Wildcats' nine nonconference games will be played at Bramlage, including the return date of a home-and-home series with UNLV on Dec. 5, and the matchup against Texas A&M — another former Big 12 foe — on Jan. 30 as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The lone non-league road game will be in the second annual Big12/Big East Battle, with opponent and date yet to be released.
"We feel this is a competitive, non-conference schedule, especially for such a new, young team," Weber said. "Colorado would’ve been an NCAA team a year ago and returns one of the top point guards (McKinley Wright) in the nation, while Drake, UNLV and Texas A&M were all playing some of their best basketball when COVID-19 hit.
"We have veterans like Mike (McGuirl), DaJuan (Gordon), Monty (Montavious Murphy) and Antonio (Gordon) who have been in big games, but now have to adjust to being in new roles, while we have several newcomers who will have to take a step up to an entirely new level of competition. This will allow for them to develop and gain experience before Big 12 play."
Other nonconference opponents include Kansas City (Nov. 30), Milwaukee (Dec. 8), Jacksonville (Dec. 21) and South Dakota (Dec. 29).
There also will be a pair of December conference games as the Big 12 begins its 25th season. K-State opens league play at Iowa State on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and plays host to Baylor the following Saturday, Dec. 19.
The conference schedule resumes on Saturday, Jan. 2, with a home game against TCU.
Both editions of the Sunflower Showdown with Kansas will take place on Tuesdays in February, two weeks apart, starting with a Feb. 2 meeting at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, followed by the Bramlage matchup on Feb. 16.
The regular season wraps up with a trip to West Virginia on Feb. 27. There will then be an open week to allow for makeup games before the Big 12 Championship, scheduled for March 10-13 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.