Oklahoma State vs Kansas State : Kansas State took center stage as one of the last college basketball teams to play in March. On Friday night, the Wildcats are back to put on a show for their fans ahead of the 2018-19 basketball season, as Madness in Manhattan makes its return to Bramlage Coliseum.
NCAA College Football
Oklahoma State vs Kansas State
Date : Saturday, October 13
Time : 12:00 Pm Et
Oklahoma State vs Kansas State
“This year is definitely going to bring a different kind feel and vibe being able to play in front of the fans before we actually tip it off,” senior guard Barry Brown said. “I’m sensing a lot of excitement, man.”
Coming off the program’s first Elite Eight appearance in eight years, K-State hosts Madness in Manhattan alongside the K-State women’s basketball team at 8 p.m. Friday. It will mark the first Madness in Manhattan event since 2013.
“I think more than anything, you’ve got a lot of hype and excitement,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. “The fan development people asked, ‘Hey, can we do it?’ I said, ‘As long as we do a good job.’ To me, it’s a wasted day of practice, to be honest, but as long as they do a good job and it brings some excitement. It’s great to sell tickets and get people excited. That’s why we did it.”
The hashtag #PursueBetter floats around the official K-State men’s basketball twitter account as the Wildcats enter ranked in the top 20 by most preseason publications but aspire to go even farther next March behind seniors Dean Wade, Barry Brown and Kamau Stokes. The Wildcats return everybody from their 25-12 season that included a thrilling 61-58 win over Kentucky in the Sweet 16 before a 78-62 loss to Loyola Chicago ended the campaign in the Elite Eight in Atlanta.
K-State boasts the most Division I scoring among collegiate rosters with 4,650 points and adds 6-foot-7, 235-pound junior forward Austin Trice and 6-foot-3, 170-pound freshman guard Shaun Neal-Williams to the mix.
Trice and Neal-Williams will join Wade and 6-foot-4, 190-pound sophomore guard Cartier Diarra for a dunk contest during Friday’s event. The teams will also have a skills competition.
Even before the official announcement of the dunk contest participants, Diarra was eager to put on a show for fans.
“I want to showcase some of my fancy dunks I’ve been practicing,” Diarra said. “It’s going to be fun and we’re going to make it special. My favorite dunk is the 360. I do a sweet one. It’s unorthodox and hopefully, I get one in a game.”
K-State’s lone exhibition game will be against Pittsburg State at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2.
Already, players sense excitement brewing around the K-State campus and the Manhattan community.
“It’s great to always interact with the fans so this will be a great event,” junior forward Xavier Sneed said. “It’s always great having the fans there for us. It’s a great feeling. Just going to classes and being on campus everybody knows and is ready. Having everybody’s support is just a great thing.”
Bramlage Coliseum features a newly-designed concourse. The first 4,000 in attendance will receive an Elite Eight rally towel with the signatures of last season’s men’s basketball team. Doors to the event will open at 7 p.m. and the entire seating area will be open to the general public. Fans are encouraged to secure one of the available floor seats for an up-close view of the action.
While all eyes will be on Bramlage Coliseum on Friday night, Weber said he senses the excitement “everywhere I go.”
“I was in two airports yesterday and K-State fans grabbed me,” he said. “We’ve got a good team, we’ve got good guys, good players, great kids. I think people are excited about the season and our guys are excited about it.”