(TNS) — Kansas State's history in Wichita dates back 85 years.
But that doesn't mean the memories of the city are fond. The Wildcats have played there 21 times dating back to 1932, going 9-12 in those matchups. Game No. 22 comes Saturday at 7 p.m., as K-State faces Tulsa in the Wichita Wildcat Classic at Intrust Arena.
For the Wildcats, it represents an opportunity.
"It's neutral, but it isn't," K-State coach Bruce Weber said. "You get that NBA-style area, where you've got the openness, but in this case, you have our fans, so that makes it a positive thing.
"I think the big thing is, our fans travel long distances. Whether it's football, volleyball, basketball, whatever, they come and support us. So if we can go to them off and on, hopefully they appreciate that. I think that's the biggest thing."
While the site isn't Bramlage Coliseum, Saturday still counts as a home game for K-State. This quirk is a result of the school controlling all ticket sales and game operations. It's the same story when K-State "hosts" games in Kansas City.
Playing these types of contests at "homes away from home" is important to Weber. And he made sure Gene Taylor knew it earlier this year, when he became the school's newest athletics director.
"I went to him and said, 'This is what we've done,' because John (Currie) was very committed to playing a game in Wichita, a game in Kansas City," Weber said.
"And I told Gene, 'You have to make that decision.' We have a game in Kansas City with Vanderbilt next year already set."
Saturday marks the first installment of a three-game series with the Golden Hurricane.
Next year, K-State travels to Tulsa.
In 2019, Tulsa will come to Bramlage.
And Weber didn't discount the possibility the series could be extended.
"It's something we can look at for the future," Weber said, "in a little bit of a rivalry game."
But Saturday's result might have implications down the line. Intrust Arena is one of the host sites for the first two rounds of this season's NCAA tournament, which begins in March.
Weber was well-aware of this tidbit.
"You get that taste of (playing there)," he said. "Obviously you've got to win a whole bunch of games to have that chance to be close to home, but it's something you can look at and talk about."
Junior guard Xavier Sneed, who enjoys traveling to new venues, eagerly anticipates Saturday's contest.
"Coming out and being able to play anywhere is a blessing," Sneed said, "but games like these get all of us excited. And hopefully our fans are (excited), too. We hope they'll come out strong."
Sneed doesn't want to let them down.
"It's a playoff-style game," he said. "We have to come out and be at our best."