KU men’s basketball completes schedule
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the 26th-consecutive season dating back to 1992-93, every game on the Kansas men’s basketball schedule will be televised as the Big 12 Conference released the 2017-18 slate Thursday.
KU will have 23 of its contests televised on ESPN or ESPN2. CBS will broadcast two KU games, while ESPNU will air one. Every ESPN contest, including KU’s six Jayhawk Television Network games, will be available online on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. One game, at Nebraska on Dec. 16, has yet to announce its television and time. NU is the host school for the contest and its league plans to release its TV schedule later.
For the 12th-straight year, starting in 2006-07, Kansas will appear on four ESPN Big Monday contests. KU’s first two ESPN Big Monday games will be on the road at West Virginia, Jan. 15, and at Kansas State, Jan. 29. The Jayhawks will host their final two Big Monday battles on Feb. 19 against Oklahoma and Feb. 26 versus Texas which will be Senior Night in Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 61-20 all-time on Big Monday (35-1 at home, 26-19 on the road), including 42-12 under head coach Bill Self (24-0 at home, 18-12 on the road). Additionally, KU has won 28-straight Big Monday games in Allen Fieldhouse, which includes a 24-0 mark under Self.
CBS will broadcast the Saturday, Feb. 3 game against Oklahoma State in Allen Fieldhouse and the Feb. 10 contest at Baylor the following week.
For the second-straight year, Big 12 play will begin in December. Kansas will play at Texas on Friday, Dec. 29, to start conference competition. KU’s league home opener will be the following Tuesday, Jan. 2, against Texas Tech. Kansas will play each league foe twice as the conference round-robin format started in 2011-12.
Kansas released its nonconference schedule on June 1 which features contests against perennial powers Kentucky, Nov. 14 in the Champions Classic in Chicago, and Syracuse, Dec. 2 in the Hoophall Miami Invitational in Miami, Florida. KU will also play former conference foes Nebraska, Dec. 16 in Lincoln, and Texas A&M, Jan. 28 in Allen Fieldhouse in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Jayhawks will play in three NBA venues during the 2017-18 season in Chicago, Miami and when they face Stanford, Dec. 21, at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
KU will officially tip off the 2017-18 season with the 33rd annual Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Allen Fieldhouse.
For the fifth-straight season, the Jayhawk Television Network (JTV), powered by Spectrum Sports, will air more than 50 Kansas Athletics contests, including two men’s basketball exhibition games and four regular-season nonconference contests. Those six games will air exclusively on Spectrum Sports in Kansas City and across the state of Kansas on JTV. ESPN3 will deliver those events nationally outside that territory. In addition to the exhibition contests vs. Pittsburg State (Oct. 31) and Fort Hays State (Nov. 7), the other JTV men’s basketball games include: Nov. 17 vs. South Dakota State, Nov. 21 vs. Texas Southern, Nov. 24 vs. Oakland and Nov. 28 vs. Toledo.
Preseason top-5 in most publications, Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 31-5 team which won an NCAA-record-tying 13th-straight regular-season conference title, a streak which started in 2004-05. The 2016-17 Jayhawks also won the CBE Hall of Fame Classic and entered the 2017 NCAA Championship as a No. 1 seed, advancing to the Elite Eight. Senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk return as regular starters, while junior guard Lagerald Vick was also in the rotation with six starts. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike also had six starts in his 11 games played in 2016-17 before an injury ended his season. Expect to see returning sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot’s minutes to increase. Sophomore guard Malik Newman, who sat out last year after transferring from Mississippi State, will play a significant role as will guards Marcus Garrett and Sam Cunliffe and forward Billy Preston. Garrett and Preston are freshmen, while Cunliffe is a sophomore who will sit out the fall semester after transferring from Arizona State last December.
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