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West Virginia to face Kansas State in basketball in Wichita this December

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Bob Huggins to take on former team in first ever Wichita Wildcat Classic

WICHITA, Kan. – This morning at the Greater Wichita Sports Commission meeting, Idol Sports & Entertainment Inc. announced Kansas State University and West Virginia University men’s basketball will play in the inaugural Wichita Wildcat Classic to be held at Wichita’s INTRUST Bank Arena this December.  

The event will take place December 8, 2011 and will be the first meeting between K-State and Bob Huggins since the former Wildcats coach left for West Virginia in 2007.

"Being at Kansas State, it didn't take long for me to figure out what a great basketball state it is with a rabid fan base,” said Huggins. “We are looking forward to playing in an outstanding basketball environment and playing against top competition to help our guys prepare for the BIG EAST."

Huggins will be taking on his former assistant and good friend Frank Martin.  Martin coached under Huggins during the 2006-07 season, Huggins’ lone year in Manhattan.

“The game should be a tremendous matchup,” said Martin.  “It gives us the opportunity to bring Bob Huggins, the man who brought us all to K-State, back to the state of Kansas.  I think it will be a great experience for K-State and our basketball program.”

The Wichita event marks only the second all time meeting between the two programs, with K-State winning the previous contest 49-44 in Morgantown in 1949.

INTRUST Bank Arena, which opened in January 2010, has played host to one men’s college basketball game — Tulsa vs. Wichita State this past December — and was the home for the NCAA women's tournament last month.

This will be Kansas State’s first game in Wichita since December 7, 2002 when the Wildcats defeated Wichita State 79-66 in Levitt Arena.

Returning to Wichita and showcasing his program to local K-State fans is important to Martin.  “I would like to thank the people of Wichita and INTRUST Bank Arena for the opportunity to bring K-State basketball to Wichita.  This region is home to many of our most loyal supporters and we welcome the chance to bring a game to their backyard.”

John Currie, Kansas State athletics director, seconds the thoughts of his head coach.  “As part of our commitment to the best fan experience in the Big 12, we are excited to take K-State Basketball state-wide.  Playing in Wichita and the beautiful INTRUST Bank Arena is a great opportunity for our fans and supporters in south-central and southwestern Kansas to attend a Wildcat game and cheer on Coach Martin and our student-athletes.”

Both Universities received at-large bids, were selected as No. 5 seeds, and made it to the third round of this year’s NCAA tournament.  The Wildcats defeated Utah State in Tucson, AZ prior to losing to Wisconsin and the Mountaineers took out Clemson in Tampa, FL before falling to Kentucky.

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