For the 13th year in a row Kansas men's basketball will be featured four times on ESPN Big Monday, according to the 2018-19 Big 12 Conference schedule released by the Conference Wednesday. And for the 27th-consecutive season, dating back to 1992-93, every game on the Kansas men's basketball schedule will be televised.
Kansas will have 31 of its 33 contests televised on the ESPN family of networks. Those 31 games will also be available via the ESPN app. Among those 31 games are the six games (two exhibition, four early-season) produced by the Jayhawk Television Network. KU fans can now see those six games throughout the state of Kansas and in the Kansas City Metro Area on KMCI (38 The Spot, Kansas City), Spectrum Sports, Midco Sports Network, and Cox Cable. They will also be available blackout-free, nationwide on ESPN+.
CBS will broadcast two games - Saturday, Feb. 2, against Texas Tech in Allen Fieldhouse and Saturday, March 2, at Oklahoma State.
The Big 12 opener for Kansas will be against Oklahoma on Wednesday, Jan. 2, in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas, 14-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion, will play each conference foe twice in the round-robin format that began in 2011-12.
This season's ESPN Big Monday appearances will start with a home contest against Texas on Jan. 14. KU is 7-3 against Texas on ESPN Big Monday, including a 4-0 mark in Allen Fieldhouse. KU will then host Iowa State the following Monday, Jan. 21. The Jayhawks are 6-2 versus the Cyclones on Big Monday, including 3-1 at home. Kansas will play TCU on ESPN Big Monday for the first time on Feb. 11 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Jayhawks close out their ESPN Big Monday schedule when they host Sunflower Showdown foe Kansas State on Feb. 25. KU is 6-3 versus K-State on ESPN Big Monday, including 1-0 at home.
Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 65-18 all-time on ESPN Big Monday (37-1 at home and 28-17 on the road), including 45-12 under head coach Bill Self (26-0 at home and 19-12 on the road). Additionally, KU has won 30-straight Big Monday games in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won its last 10 ESPN Big Monday contests.
Kansas released its non-conference schedule in June. It features contests against perennial powers Michigan State to open the regular season Nov. 6 in Indianapolis in the Champions Classic, Marquette in the Preseason NIT on Nov. 21 in Brooklyn, and either Tennessee or Louisville in the NIT two nights later. Additionally, the Jayhawks will host Stanford Dec. 1, and defending NCAA champion Villanova Dec. 15, in Allen Fieldhouse. KU will play at Arizona State (Dec. 22) and at Kentucky (Jan. 26) in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
KU will officially tip off the 2018-19 season with the 34th annual Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Sept. 28, in Allen Fieldhouse; festivities start at 6:30 p.m.
Preseason top-5 in most outlets, Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season's 31-8 team that advanced to KU's 15th Final Four and won an NCAA-record-breaking 14th-straight regular-season conference title, a streak which started in 2004-05. The 2017-18 Jayhawks also won the Big 12 Tournament and the Hoophall Miami Invitational. KU entered the 2018 NCAA Championship as a No. 1 seed for the third-straight and eighth time in school history.
Senior guard Lagerald Vick (12.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and junior center Udoka Azubuike (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) are Kansas' two returning starters from last year's Final Four team. Azubuike led the nation with a 77.0 field goal percentage in 2017-18. That mark broke the Kansas and Big 12 single-season records, and ranks second all-time in NCAA history.
Other returning regulars include sophomore guard Marcus Garrett (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg), sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa (4.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and junior forward Mitch Lightfoot (3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.4 blocks per game).
Kansas welcomes nine newcomers, three of whom have been in the program for more than a year. Junior forward Dedric Lawson and his brother, sophomore K.J. Lawson, transferred from Memphis following the 2016-17 season, as did sophomore guard Charlie Moore from California. Three other newcomers - guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes, and forward David McCormack - had stellar high school careers in 2017-18, culminating in their being named McDonald's All-Americans. Additionally, Kansas City standout guard Ochai Agbaji will attempt to have an immediate impact his freshman year at KU.