Travis Ford and OSU host Gonzaga on Dec. 31. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file
A New Year’s Eve date with Gonzaga highlights Oklahoma State’s nonconference basketball schedule next season.
The slate, which was released Tuesday, includes six teams that finished in the top four of their respective conferences last season. The game against the Zags, who are coming off a third-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament, is possibly the biggest non-league home matchup for the Cowboys since Cincinnati visited Stillwater in 2001.
OSU will play an exhibition against Ottawa College on Nov. 1 and open the season Nov. 9 against UC-Davis as part of a doubleheader with the women’s team.
On Dec. 5, OSU will host South Florida, the first time a team from the Big East has played at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Bulls advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year.
The game will be the first of six straight at home - Missouri State, Central Arkansas, Texas-Arlington, Tennessee Tech and then Gonzaga.
“It’s a great home schedule, and we’re very excited about having eight home nonconference games, but even more than that, the caliber of teams coming into Gallagher-Iba Arena will be very challenging,” coach Travis Ford said. “Our fans will enjoy having teams like Gonzaga, South Florida and Missouri State coming into our place.”
For the first time since 2001, OSU will not play in Oklahoma City’s All-College Classic, which was established in 1935 and is the oldest active college basketball tournament. A spokeswoman said the tournament is changing formats and details will be released soon.
Oklahoma is hoping to be included in the field and is sorting out the details, coach Lon Kruger said. An OSU spokesman said the plan is for OU and OSU to alternate appearances in the tournament, with the Sooners taking this season.
2012 nonconference schedule
Thu, Nov. 1: Ottawa (Exhibition), 7 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 9: UC Davis, 8 p.m.*
Thu-Sun, Nov. 15-18: Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Sun, Nov. 25: Portland State, 1 p.m.
Sat, Dec. 1: at Virginia Tech, TBD
Wed, Dec. 5: USF, 7 p.m.
Sat, Dec. 8: Missouri State, 3 p.m.
Sun, Dec. 16: Central Arkansas, 3 p.m.*
Wed, Dec. 19: Texas-Arlington, 7 p.m.
Sat, Dec. 22: Tennessee Tech, Noon
Mon, Dec. 31: Gonzaga, TBD
* doubleheader with the women's team
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