Well this is the game we all kind of hoped for when the tournament field for the 2021 Hall of Fame Classic was announced. Except we wanted it to be in the trophy game, not the consolation game.
Either way, there’s about a billion story lines for today’s game.
The last time these Kansas State and Illinois met on the hardwood (Dec. 2nd, 2000), Bill Self was the head coach at Illinois, his first season in Champaign. Bruce Weber was still the coach at Southern Illinois, and Brad Underwood was an assistant at Western Illinois (oh, and Wooldridge was in his first season in Manhattan). It wasn’t much longer before Bruce was in Champaign after Self left for KU, and then a few years later Brad Underwood found himself at his Alma Mater, K-State, as an assistant first for Bob Huggins and then Frank Martin. When Martin left K-State, Underwood followed him to South Carolina, and Bruce Weber, recently fired as Illinois’ head coach, was hired by John Currie to be the head man at K-State. Underwood ended up at Oklahoma State for the 2016-17 season, where he went 1-1 against K-State, before taking
a boatload of money the job at Illinois. Bruce Weber is 0-1 against Illinois, a game played back when he was at Southern Illinois.
And that’s just the short history of the coaches.
So expect some emotion tonight, especially from the fans, and let’s hope it doesn’t take 20 minutes for the Wildcats to get going tonight in Kansas City.
Tonight’s game from the T-Mobile Center in KCMO tips at 6:00pm CT and can be seen on ESPNNews with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Mark “Spurtability” Adams (analyst) on the call. The game should also be available streaming via WatchESPN, if you already have the correct TV subscription.
If you don’t get ESPNNews, or can’t access the stream, you can listen to Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) call the game on much of the K-State Sports Radio Network, and also available online on the The Varsity Network app and at K-StateSports.com.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (2-1)
G: #3 Selton Miguel
G: #13 Mark Smith
G: #21 Nijel Pack
F: #25 Ismael [Ish] Massoud
F: #20 Kaosi Ezeagu
Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2)
G: #1 Trent Frazier
G: #5 Andre Curbelo
G/F: #3 Jacob Grandison
F: #33 Coleman Hawkins
C: #21 Kofi Cockburn