Kansas State basketball’s nonconference picture grew a little clearer on Thursday. The Paradise Jam tournament revealed the bracket for its 2018 edition, and the Wildcats have their first-round opponent set: Eastern Kentucky.
Announcing the brackets and schedule matchups for the 2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam!
— Paradise Jam (@paradisejam) May 10, 2018
The game will take place at 7:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 16 at the University of the Virgin Islands. The 2018 edition will be the 18th time the Paradise Jam has taken place, although last year the tournament was moved to Lynchburg, Va., after damage from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
The winner of the Kansas State-Eastern Kentucky game will play the winner of Northern Iowa and Penn two nights later. Other Power 5 teams in the competition include Oregon State and Missouri.
Kansas State has participated in the Paradise Jam once before, in 2002. Under head coach Jim Wooldridge, the Wildcats went 1-2 in the tournament, losing to BYU and Toledo before beating Michigan to finish fifth. Kansas State finished 13-17 on the season.
Kansas State is 1-1 all-time against Eastern Kentucky, with the last matchup being an 87-59 Wildcats win in 1972. The Colonels went 11-20 and finished ninth in the Ohio Valley Conference last season, and fired head coach Dan McHale afterward. Former NC State assistant coach A.W. Hamilton took over as the new Eastern Kentucky coach in March.