Welcome to the official start of the 2022-23 basketball seasons for your Kansas State Wildcats!
We’ve got a double-header in Bramlage to open the season with the MittieCats squaring off against Central Arkansas at 5:30pm CT followed by the TangCats versus UTRGV at 8pm CT (or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the women’s game, if disaster strikes and/or that game takes forever).
This will be the second straight season that the MittieCats have opened the season against the Sugar Bears, rolling to a 103-40 victory on Nov. 9th, 2021. As the Wildcats open their 55th season, they will be without the services of All-American Ayoka Lee, who will miss the season after undergoing knee surgery in the preseason. But that doesn’t mean they are without talent, and sophomore guard Serena Sundell was named to the 2022-23 Preseason All-Big 12 Team.
Some big milestones are on the docket for the Cats here in the earliest part of the season, with head coach Jeff Mittie going for his 600th career victory tonight, while the K-State women’s basketball program is just two wins shy of 1,000 in program history. Once those two marks are achieved, K-State will be just one of three programs in the country with 1,000+ program wins, and a head coach with 600+ career wins — joining UConn and Stanford.
Even without Lee, this is a game the Wildcats should cruise in.
You can watch the action streaming on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Brian Smoller (play-by-play), Missy Heidrick (analyst), and Lina Sattarin (sideline reporter) on the call. You can also listen to Matt Walters (play-by-play) and Kristin Waller (analyst) call the action online at K-StateSports.com and over-the-air in the Manhattan area on Sunny 102.5 FM.
In the second game of the double-dip, the TangCats take on an UTRGV squad that has historically been pretty mediocre. But it’s a program that has history with K-State, as back in the day when it was known as Texas-Pan American, a young former Wildcats player and assistant named Lon Kruger took on his first head coaching job. Now the Vaqueros are headed up by another former K-State assistant, as Matt Figger returns to Bramlage Coliseum to open his second year at UTRGV.
The Wildcats open the 2022-23 season with an entirely new coaching staff and a roster that has exactly two returning players from last year’s 14-17 squad. The new group looked comfortable, if sloppy, in their blow-out win in exhibition over Washburn, and will hope to apply lessons learned from that first “live” competition in front of the home crowd at Bramlage to their season opener tonight.
The Cats are a 17-1/2 point favorite in this one, and anything much less should be considered a poor showing even with the new roster. The Vaqueros were just 8-23 last season, though did hang with Illinois in Champaign enough for just a 9-point loss.
Tonight’s matchup between the Cats and Vaqueros at Bramlage Colisuem will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Ben Boyle (play-by-play), Stan Weber (analyst), and Jazsmin Halliburton (sideline reporter) on the call. You’ll also be able to hear the game online at K-StateSports.com, plus parts of the K-State Sports Radio Network and on SiriusXM 384 with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) calling the action over there.