Jayhawks, 'Horns coming
BY Staff Reports
Monday, March 14, 2011
3/14/11 at 9:48 AM
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Get ready for a Jayhawk invasion from the north. Longhorns are coming from the south. And Tigers will arrive from the east. They'll converge at the BOK Center this week, when Madness will ensue.
The NCAA men's basketball tournament field is set, and the Kansas Jayhawks are headed for Tulsa. They'll be joined on Friday in the BOK Center by the Texas Longhorns, giving Tulsa the Big 12's top two teams.
Mix in the Memphis Tigers - a perennial NCAA Tournament team with a strong fan following - and Tulsa has a marquee lineup as the city hosts the tournament for the first time since 1985.
"We got our wish," said Tulsa Sports Commission Executive Director Ray Hoyt after city officials cheered Tulsa's tournament selections at a watch party Sunday at Joe Momma's Pizza in downtown. "This is our dream."
Kansas, Texas and Memphis are among 68 teams in the men's basketball event that's become known as March Madness because of dramatic finishes that feature small schools battling - and sometimes defeating - better known powerhouses.
The BOK Center will host six games - four on Friday and two on Sunday.
In Friday's West Regional games, Texas plays Oakland at 11:15 a.m.; and Arizona meets Memphis 30 minutes after the first game.
In Friday's Southwest Regional games, Kansas faces Boston University at 5:50 p.m.; and Nevada-Las Vegas plays Illinois 30 minutes after the Kansas game.
On Sunday, the Kansas-Boston winner will play the UNLV-Illinois winner. Also Sunday, the Arizona-Memphis winner will play the Texas-Oakland winner.
Every NCAA Tournament game will be televised, and they'll be carried on one of four networks - CBS (Cox cable channel 6), TNT (29), TBS (47) and truTV (51).
None of Oklahoma's teams made the NCAA field. It's the first time since 1981 that all the state teams - Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts and Tulsa - missed the NCAA field in the same season.
Oklahoma State's season will continue with a game in the National Invitation Tournament at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Harvard at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.
Oral Roberts' season will continue with a road game against SMU at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The men's basketball seasons for Tulsa and Oklahoma are over.
The women's NCAA Tournament field will be announced at 6 p.m. Monday on ESPN, and Oklahoma is expected to receive a bid.
The BOK Center field is stacked with local storylines:
Kansas' Bill Self started his head-coaching career at Oral Roberts University before taking the head-coaching job at Tulsa. He went on to become a national championship winner at KU.
Memphis is a member of Conference USA and plays the University of Tulsa annually.
Texas is a member of the Big 12 Conference and plays games in Oklahoma every season.
Oakland is a member of the Summit League and defeated Oral Roberts University in the conference championship game Tuesday to clinch an NCAA Tournament bid and deny the Golden Eagles.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett said the teams coming to Tulsa couldn't have been better for drawing large crowds to Tulsa, which could be the stage for significant upsets and great games.
"If we do a good job and everyone walks away happy with Tulsa, then we have a good shot of repeating this tournament here in one or two years," he said. "It's a great opportunity for Tulsans - besides money - to see some world-class basketball."
Friday's BOK Center games are the beginning of what teams hope will become a three-week march to a national championship.
The lone survivor of Southwest Regional teams - Kansas, Boston, UNLV and Illinois - will move on to games in San Antonio on March 25. The survivor of West Regional teams - Arizona, Memphis, Texas and Oakland - will advance to games in Anaheim, Calif., on March 24.
The Final Four is in Houston, with national semifinals April 2 and the national championship game April 4.
- No. 4 Texas (27-7) vs. No. 13 Oakland (25-9), 11:15 a.m., KOTV-6
- No. 5 Arizona (27-7) vs. No. 12 Memphis (25-9), approx. 1:45 p.m., KOTV-6
- No. 1 Kansas (32-2) vs. No. 16 Boston U. (21-13), 5:50 p.m., TBS-47
- No. 8 Nevada-Las Vegas (24-8) vs. No. 9 Illinois (19-13), approx. 8:20 p.m., TBS-47
- Kansas-Boston winner vs. UNLV-Illinois winner; Arizona-Memphis winner vs. Texas-Oakland winner. Times TBD.
World Staff Writer Jarrel Wade contributed to this story.
The Kansas Jayhawks celebrate winning the Big 12 men's basketball tournament. The Jayhawks beat Texas in the championship game on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas and Texas both will play in the BOK Center on Friday in the NCAA Tournament. ORLIN WAGNER / Associated Press