LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas' 2014-15 men's basketball schedule potentially includes 13 opponents which advanced to the 2014 postseason (10 NCAA, three NIT), including five foes that won their way to the 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 or farther as the Big 12 announced its schedule Thursday.
Season ticket sales for KU's 18 home games, the 17 in Allen Fieldhouse and the Dec. 13 game against Utah in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., are now on sale. To order tickets fans must be active members of the Williams Education Fund, which can be done by making a minimum gift pledge of $100.
The 10 NCAA participants on the KU schedule for 2014-15 include Big 12 foes Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. Kansas' non-conference opponents which went to the NCAA Tournament are Florida and Kentucky and, potentially, Tennessee and Michigan State. Kentucky and Florida each advanced to the 2014 Final Four, while Michigan State went to the Elite Eight and Iowa State and Tennessee the Sweet 16. Big 12 member West Virginia participated in the 2014 NIT as did KU non-conference opponents Georgetown and Utah. Tennessee and Michigan State are potential opponents in the 2014 Orlando Classic, Nov. 27-30.
KU released its non-conference schedule in May and Thursday's conference slate has finalized most of the TV contests for the Jayhawks in 2014-15. Kansas will have three games televised on CBS, marking the 14th straight year the Jayhawks will appear on CBS at least twice in a season, beginning in 2000-01. It is the 20th-consecutive year KU will have at least one regular-season game on CBS, starting in 1994-95. KU will host UNLV on Sunday, Jan. 4, play at Texas Jan. 24 and host Baylor Feb. 14. All three will air on CBS.
Besides the Dec. 10 contest at Georgetown on Fox Sports 1, every other Kansas game will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. In addition to its four ESPN Big Monday games announced Aug. 11, Kansas will be on the main ESPN platform against Kentucky in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis on Nov. 18, versus Florida in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Dec. 5 in Allen Fieldhouse and versus Utah on Dec. 13 at the Kansas City Shootout at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
The ESPN family of networks will televise every game in the Orlando Classic, Nov. 27-30, with KU's opening bracket game versus Rhode Island on Nov. 27 airing on ESPN2. There are five Big 12 contests that will either appear on ESPN or ESPN2 for the Jayhawks as the conference will announce those specific stations closer to the dates. Kansas will have three league games on ESPNU.
In June 2013, Kansas Athletics announced an agreement under which Time Warner Cable will annually air 50 KU contests – including two exhibition and four non-conference men's basketball games – exclusively on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in Kansas City and across the state of Kansas on the Jayhawk TV Network. ESPN3 will deliver those 50 events nationally outside that territory. In addition to the Nov. 3 vs. Washburn and Nov. 11 vs. Emporia State exhibition contests, the other Jayhawk TV men's basketball games include Nov. 14 vs. UC Santa Barbara, Nov. 24 vs. Rider in the opening home-round game of the Orlando Classic, Dec. 20 vs. Lafayette and Dec. 30 vs. Kent State.
Kansas went 25-10 in 2013-14 and won its unprecedented 10th-straight Big 12 and NCAA-leading 57th regular-season conference championship. Head coach Bill Self brings back 10 letterwinners, including two starters, from the team that advanced to the round of 32 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Losing the No. 1 and No. 3 overall selections in the 2014 NBA Draft, Self looks to reload for 2014-15. Kansas has been ranked as high as third in preseason rankings, returning starters Perry Ellis, a junior forward, and Wayne Selden, Jr., a sophomore guard. Ellis is KU's leading returning scorer at 13.5 points per game in 2013-14, and rebounder at 6.7 boards per contest. Selden averaged 9.7 points per game his rookie season at KU and both he and Ellis were named to the 2014 All-Big 12 squad with Ellis a third-team selection and Selden at honorable mention. Other key returnees include junior forward Jamari Traylor (4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg in 2013-14) and sophomore guards Frank Mason (5.5 ppg), Conner Frankamp (2.5 ppg) and Brannen Greene (2.4 ppg).
Self welcomes four newcomers to the roster, including McDonald's All-Americans Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre. A power forward, Alexander was the 2014 Naismith High School National Player of the Year. Highly-rated guards Devonte' Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk round out the KU freshmen for 2014-15.
Kansas has won five of the last eight Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships including the 2013 title. This year's event will again be held at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., March 11-14 and NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday will be March 15.