EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Non-conference play has been over for nearly three months for the UTEP men’s basketball team, but in need of a game next week, the Miners have scheduled a road game at No. 17 Kansas on Thursday, March 4 at the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.
The game against the Jayhawks will come ahead of the Conference USA Tournament, which is by design. Conference USA scheduled an open week to reschedule postponed games, however, with UTEP unable to reschedule last weekend’s series with Florida Atlantic that was canceled due to a positive case of COVID-19 within the Miners’ program, it left a hole in the schedule that will be filled by one of the premiere programs in the country.
UTEP (10-10, 6-8 Conference USA) paused team activity following the positive test, but have since resumed practices and will finish out league play on Feb. 27-28 against Charlotte at the Don Haskins Center. Kansas (17-8, 11-6 Big 12), ranked No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches poll, recently fell at No. 14 Texas 75-72 in overtime on Feb. 23. The Jayhawks will conclude Big 12 play at home against No. 2 Baylor on Feb. 27.
UTEP is 3-1 all-time against Kansas. The Miners last played the Jayhawks on Nov. 30, 2013 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, a game the Miners lost, 67-63, in the third-place game in Paradise Island, Bahamas. UTEP upset the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks, 66-60, on March 22, 1992 in Dayton, Ohio, to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The two programs first met on March 12, 1966 when Texas Western College edged out No. 4 Kansas 81-80 in double overtime in Lubbock, Texas, during its championship title run. The Miners defeated Kansas the very next season on Dec. 17, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. UTEP is also slated to play at Kansas during the 2021-22 season.
Thursday’s meeting will be the first between the two schools in Lawrence. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT and the game will air on ESPN+.