Fargo, N.D. The North Dakota State men's basketball team is looking forward to playing Kansas State - and hoping it doesn't take another 35 years to bring in a high-profile program.
Saturday's game between the Bison and the Wildcats is the final game of a three-game contract that called for NDSU to play two games in Manhattan and Kansas State to play one game in Fargo.
"We called them about a two-for-one and they thought it would be fine," NDSU coach Tim Miles said.
The last high-profile major-college program to play in Fargo was another Wildcats team, Villanova in 1971. The visitors from Philadelphia won, 94-61.
NDSU is in the third year of a five-year Division I reclassification. Miles scheduled the Kansas State game 31â2 years ago, when the Bison were still a Division II team.
Now, NDSU has a 5-2 record coming off a victory over previously eighth-ranked Marquette on Saturday.
"That was a great win for them," said Kansas State coach Bob Huggins.
That, along with a Big 12 Conference opponent in Kansas State (5-3), is making Saturday's game an easy sell. NDSU is expecting close to a full house in the 6,000-seat sports arena.
"This is pretty big because we really don't have a set rivalry and we're not in a conference," said NDSU senior forward Andre Smith. "A team of this magnitude coming to play on this floor will help bring more support."
The Bison had mixed results in their two games at Kansas State. They lost, 70-61, two years ago in a game in which they unexpectedly took the Wildcats to the final minutes. Kansas State won, 82-56, last season.
"We've been waiting for this game," Smith said. "They beat us last year. It's all we've been thinking about since the rest of last year and this year. They're coming to our house."