Bruce Weber joked that it was the football portion of Kansas State's basketball schedule — a series of four Saturday games with nothing but practice time in between.
But the second game of that stretch, a 1:30 p.m. game today against Marquette at Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum, also begins a critical nonconference resume-building month for the No. 12-ranked Wildcats.
"It all adds up," Weber said. "One of our goals, or things we've talked about, is we want to get a higher (NCAA Tournament) seed.
"You've got to get in first, so you've got to win games. But these games are important."
At 6-0, the Wildcats have taken care of business so far, returning from the Virgin Islands with the Paradise Jam championship and then last week pulling away for a convincing 77-58 home victory over Lehigh. Marquette (5-2) lost 77-68 to No. 2 Kansas in the Preseason NIT but came back to edge Louisville, 77-74, in overtime in the consolation game, then improved to 4-0 at home Tuesday night with a 76-55 victory over Charleston Southern.
"You've got a road game against a team that's one of the favorites in the Big East and already beat Louisville (and) gave Kansas a heck of a game, so we know it's going to be a tough test," Weber, a Milwaukee native, said of the trip to his hometown. "These BCS games will definitely help you.
"And then, I haven't studied the new ratings, but it seems like road games are important, so that will help us if we can find a way to get a couple of road wins."
After the Marquette game, the Wildcats travel to Tulsa next Saturday. The new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings are replacing the RPI this year for the national tournament selection committee.
K-State forward Dean Wade, who leads the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and in rebounding with an 8.5 average, said he is looking forward to the first true road test.
"It will be a real exciting game this weekend, playing in a new building real close to Marquette, everything like that, so they're going to have a ton of fans," Wade said. "The new guys will be thrown into a very hostile environment.
"It will be fun. It will be a good experience for them."
Junior college transfer Austin Trice and true freshman Shaun Neal-Williams are the only newcomers on a veteran Wildcat team.
"We don't have too many young guys," said senior guard Barry Brown, who is averaging 15.7 points and 5.0 rebounds. "I think these next few road tests will be good for everyone.
"It will be all our first road game this year — first and second back-to-back — so it will be good to see how we fight under adversity, even though we've done it almost collectively last year."
For Marquette, which has outscored its seven opponents by an average 75-65 margin, junior guard Markus Howard leads the way with 19.4 points and 5.3 assists per game. Junior forward Sam Hauser adds 16.6 points and 5.7 rebounds, with younger brother Joey Hauser, a redshirt freshman, contributing 10.5 points and 5.7 rebounds.
Weber, a Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate, grew up watching Marquette games. His demand ended up exceeding supply for friends and family seeking tickets for the game.
"I have probably 70 to 100 people, and that's not going to cousins, second cousins and all that stuff," he said. "A lot of childhood friends, family.
"I ordered a bunch of extra tickets a long time ago, knowing it would be that kind of a situation, but it's even beyond that. So I had to tell a lot of people, 'Go find your own tickets.' "