UTEP Set to Face No. 17 Kansas Before C-USA Tournament
Taking advantage of the open week prior to the Conference USA Tournament, the UTEP men's basketball team has scheduled a rare March non-conference game against Big 12 power Kansas, featuring a 6 p.m. MT tip-off in Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, March 4.
The men's basketball program had talked about scheduling another opponent before the league tournament. Against a top-25 team, they get a massive tune-up game to wrap up the regular season.
The No. 17 ranked Jayhawks will also have an open stretch next week as they close out the season this Saturday against No. 2 Baylor. The Jayhawks (17-8, 11-6 Big 12) recently lost to No. 14 Texas (75-72, OT) on Feb. 23.
This will be the first time that the Miners have played the Jayhawks since 2013 in the Battle 4 Atlantis (Bahamas) invitational when Kansas upended UTEP 67-63 in the third-place game. The Miners featured players like Vince Hunter, Julian Washburn and John Bohannon, while Kansas had some future NBA players like Andrew Wiggins, Frank Mason III and Joel Embiid on their squad in 2013.
Coincidently, the last time UTEP won an NCAA Tournament game was against Kansas in 1992. The Miners pulled off the upset against the No. 1 Jayhawks, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. UTEP has a 3-1 all-time record against Kansas and this will be the first time both squads play in Lawrence, Kansas.
According to UTEP, the two teams will also play at Kansas during the 2021-22 season.
The Miners (10-10, 6-8 C-USA) will close out C-USA play this weekend against Charlotte on Saturday and Sunday. Their series last week against Florida Atlantic was canceled due to COVID-19 complications within the UTEP program. They are coming off back-to-back wins against Florida International, which was their first C-USA sweep of the year.
The game will be televised on Big12Now/ESPN+ and can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso.