The nationwide college sports shutdown has not prevented behind-the-scenes work from continuing, as evidenced by Kansas State's announcement Sunday that it is renewing an old men’s basketball rivalry with former conference foe Nebraska.
The two schools have agreed to a three-game series that will begin Dec. 19 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., and include one home game for each team in the following two years.
The second game will be Dec. 18, 2021, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb., with the series concluding on Dec. 17, 2022, at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan. All three games will be played on Saturdays.
"This is a nice three-game series for us and a real win-win for both schools," K-State coach Bruce Weber said of facing Nebraska, which left the Big 12 for the Big Ten in 2011. "Drew (Speraw, K-State director of operations) was looking for a neutral-site game at the same time as Nebraska and it just worked out for both parties.
"We started with the game in Kansas City, then added the home-and-home series later. With the shared conference history, the closeness of both campuses and our relationship with coach (Fred) Hoiberg and his staff, a series like this just makes too much sense."
Hoiberg, who is starting his second season at Nebraska, is a familiar name to K-State fans after he both played (1991-95) and coached (2010-15) at Iowa State. After leaving Iowa State, he spent three seasons in the NBA, coaching the Chicago Bulls.
K-State and Nebraska also have a rich history, meeting 219 times as common members of the Missouri Valley, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 conferences. The rivalry started with a 50-14 Nebraska victory in 1906, with the last game a 61-57 Wildcat victory on Feb. 23, 2011, at the Devaney Center in Lincoln.
Nebraska struggled in its first season under Hoiberg, going 7-25 overall and 2-18 in the Big 10 with a roster that had no returning starters and 14 newcomers.
K-State leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 126-93, and is 19-3 against the Huskers in Kansas City. The first game of the series at Sprint Center will be the 11th Wildcat Classic and will mark the first meeting between the schools in Kansas City since a 62-58 Big 12 Tournament victory by K-State at Kemper Arena.
The Nebraska game in Kansas City adds to a 2020-21 nonconference schedule that features home games with UNLV and in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. K-State also will play Nov. 23-25 in the Cayman Islands Classic with a field that includes La Salle, Miami (Fla.), Nevada, Northern Iowa, Mississippi, Oregon State and Western Kentucky.