OKLAHOMA CITY – The 78th edition of the Oklahoma City All-College Classic will feature NCAA Division I women’s basketball for the first time in its history, with the Oklahoma State women taking on South Florida and the Oklahoma State men facing Louisiana Tech on Dec. 14 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City All Sports Association announced today.
Game times have not been set, but the first game featuring the Cowgirls and Bulls will be an afternoon contest with the Cowboys versus the Bulldogs immediately following.
This “All-Orange” All-College Classic marks the 37th year that Oklahoma State has competed in the event, with the Cowboys claiming the inaugural All-College Championship in the 1936 tournament.
“We are thrilled to have our first-ever ‘All-Orange’ All-College this year,” All Sports executive director Tim Brassfield said. “From the very beginning of this historic event, Oklahoma State has been one of the biggest reasons for its success. Cowboy fans have always shown great support for the All-College and we’re excited to host them in 2013, especially after their extremely successful year last season.”
The Oklahoma State men finished last season in third-place in the Big 12 standings and fell in the second round of the NCAA tournament to finish the year at 24-9 overall. The Cowboys return four starters from last year's squad, including Big 12 Player of the Year and All-American Marcus Smart, All-Big 12 Second Team selection Markel Brown, All-Big 12 Third Team pick Le'Bryan Nash and Big 12 All-Defensive member Michael Cobbins. Louisiana Tech is coming off of a 27-7 season that saw the program earn its first Top 25 ranking in more than 25 years and claim a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the All-College Classic once again this season,” Cowboy coach Travis Ford said. “We have a large alumni base in Oklahoma City, and Chesapeake Energy Arena is a first-class facility. It’s a great opportunity for the OSU fans in OKC that don’t have season tickets to get an up-close look at this year’s squad.”
The inaugural women’s game will feature a Cowgirl squad that finished last season at 22-11 and reached the second round of the NCAA Championship tournament. Their opponent USF also finished the year at 22-11 and fell in the second round of the NCAA Championship, losing to No. 2 seed California in overtime.
“We are excited for the opportunity to play a very talented and well-coached South Florida team,” Cowgirl coach Jim Littell said. “This will be a great RPI game for us and will prepare our team for the rigors of Big 12 play. Our team is also appreciative of the chance to play in an NBA venue in front of our home fans.”
The All-College Basketball Classic is the world’s oldest basketball tournament, predating the NCAA, NBA, NIT (National Invitation Tournament) and NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) events. It began its doubleheader format in 2001.