The Octagon of Doom: Inside the 30 years of Bramlage Coliseum’s history

The Kansas State Wildcats face off against the Oklahoma Sooners in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 16, 2018. (Cooper Kinley | K-State Athletics / Collegian Media Group)

Over the last 30 years, Bramlage Coliseum has been home to both of the Kansas State basketball programs and thousands of cheering fans.

Bramlage, nicknamed “The Octagon of Doom” for the building’s eight-sided shape, made its debut as the home of the Wildcats on Nov. 26, 1988.

This facility was built to replace Ahearn Field House, which served the Wildcats from 1950 to 1988. The construction took two years and was funded by different contributions, with $7 million from the student body and a matched figure from K-State alumni. State funds were not used to build Bramlage like they were for Ahearn Field House.

Fred Bramlage, the building’s namesake, was a businessman from Junction City and a 1935 K-State graduate who majored in accounting. Bramlage made the original contribution to start constructing the facility.

There’s no surprise that several key basketball matchups have taken place here, but to get to those, we have to start at the beginning.

The first game played in the arena was an NBA exhibition game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 21, 1988. The Mavericks at that time were led by former K-State player and four-time All-Star Rolando Blackman.

In the 1988-1989 college basketball season, the K-State men’s basketball team posted a 19-11 overall record, and they went 8-6 in conference play to finish third in the Big 8 Conference. This team was led by head coach Lon Kruger, now head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. The team’s first game was against Purdue, where they won 81-77.

In the 2009-2010 season, K-State’s men’s team posted a 29-8 record overall, 11-5 in conference play. In front of their home crowd, the Wildcats went 14-3. With Frank Martin at the helm, the team made its first Elite Eight appearance in more than 20 years.

One of the more recent big home games for men’s basketball was an 87-69 win over then-No. 4 Oklahoma on Jan. 16, 2018. It was the team’s sixth conference game of the season and their third win.

In the first season for the women’s team, the Wildcats finished with a record of 18-11 overall and 7-7 in Big 8 Conference play, with Matilda Mossman as the head coach.

On March 17, 2002, the women’s team recorded program win No. 600 in an 82-68 win over Arkansas inside Bramlage.

The women’s basketball program celebrated its 50th season in Bramlage with a win in its final home game on Feb. 24, 2018. In this game, K-State recorded their 91st win over in-state rival KU, 91-67.

“The Octagon of Doom” has seen some key matchups in its 30 years as the home of Wildcat basketball, and it is sure to see many more in the years to come.

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