KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — Bruce Weber frequently laments the difficulty of attracting high-profile non-conference opponents to Bramlage Coliseum. On Wednesday, he received good news.
During the Big 12's men's basketball media day at the Sprint Center, the conference announced it had agreed to a scheduling series with the Big East, starting in the 2019-20 season and running through the 2022-23 campaign.
With the RPI formula now eliminated from the NCAA Tournament selection committee's seeding process, Weber sees another game against a brand-name opponent as a boon for both his team and the league as a whole.
"You're still going to have some type of scheduling mechanism," he said, "and strength of schedule will be there."
Every bit as important, Weber pointed out, it means Big 12 teams will feature 20 games against Power 5 foes every season: 18 conference contests in round-robin, home-and-away matchups; the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge game; and now — for four years, at least — a Big East opponent.
K-State already knows the identity of its first Big East adversary: Marquette, which it plays Dec. 1 in Milwaukee. The 2019 meeting at Bramlage Coliseum will be incorporated into the first year of the new Big 12/Big East battle.
For Weber, Wednesday's news is a relief.
"Our scheduling is hard," Weber said. "Fans want teams to come to Manhattan, and it's not easy for us to do. This will definitely help us get a positive home game into non-conference for our fans and for our team."
Additional note: The Big 12 men's and women's conference basketball tournaments will be held in Kansas City in 2020. The conference announced in an fficial release that the championships will stay there through 2024.
The Big 12 men's and women's basketball tournaments will both be held in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2020. And Wednesday, the league announced their stays will be long term.
Both championships will remain in Kansas City through 2024, per an official release from the league.
Kansas City hosted both championships in the conference's first six years (1997-2002) and then again in 2005 and 2008 through 2010. The men's event has remained in Kansas City since then; the women's tournament has moved around, playing in Oklahoma City four times (2014, 2016-18) and Dallas twice (2013 and 2015) in that span.
The men played at Kemper Arena seven times before the event moved to the Sprint Center in 2008.
Municipal Auditorium has hosted the women's event every year Kansas City has hosted the event, and remains the host site when it returns in 2020. Since the last women's tournament at Municipal Auditorium in 2012, the facility has received $5 million in renovations, including new video boards, an LED scorer's table, an enhanced sound system and other upgrades.