Normally the annual All-College Classic in Oklahoma City features Oklahoma and Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball teams taking on non-conference opposition. This season’s event however will be an all-Cowboy affair that will make history, with the men’s and women’s programs taking the Chesapeake Energy Arena floor on Saturday, December 14.
This is the first time that the doubleheader has been of the men’s/women’s variety, with the Oklahoma State women’s team leading things off with a game against USF. Following that will be Travis Ford’s Cowboys playing reigning WAC regular season co-champion Louisiana Tech.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the All-College Classic once again this season,” Ford said in the release. “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.”
While the matchup of Oklahoma State and Louisiana Tech may not make waves nationally from a “name brand” standpoint, this is a game that features one team that will be expected to enjoy some NCAA tournament success in March (Oklahoma State) and another capable of earning a spot in the 68-team field.
Michael White’s Bulldogs won 26 regular season games (27-7 overall), but an upset loss to UTSA in the WAC tournament relegated Louisiana Tech to the Postseason NIT (where they beat Florida State before losing to Southern Miss).
Louisiana Tech will face stiffer conference competition this season now that they’re in Conference USA, but with guard Raheem Appleby (14.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg) leading the way for a group that returns six of its top seven scorers they’ll be a factor in the C-USA race.
As for Oklahoma State, the return of guards Marcus Smart and Markel Brown and forward Le’Bryan Nash makes Travis Ford’s team one of the early favorites to win the Big 12. This matchup offers them a solid non-conference test, and it’s a game that in theory shouldn’t kill them when it comes to the computer numbers that can impact a team’s NCAA tournament seeding.