Aug. 12, 1999
Norman, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma announced its 29-game 1999-2000 regular season schedule today, a slate which will feature 15 home games and three tournaments -- the Top of the World Classic Nov. 19-21 in Fairbanks, Alaska, the second annual IGA SuperThrift Sooner Holiday Classic Nov. 26-27 in Norman, and the 64th annual All-College Tournament Dec. 29-30 in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma, which posted a 22-11 record and tied for second place in the Big 12 Conference last year before advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, begins its regular season Nov. 19 at the Top of the World Classic versus Montana State. The Sooners will play either George Washington or Indiana State the following day and either California, TCU, Houston or host Alaska-Fairbanks Nov. 21.
In addition to its 16-game Big 12 Conference schedule, Oklahoma will host Mississippi Dec. 4 and Cincinnati Dec. 22, and will face Arkansas on the road Dec. 7. The Cincinnati game (ESPN) is one of six games scheduled for national broadcast. Other games set for national television are: Texas (Jan. 31, ESPN, home), Nebraska (Feb. 14, ESPN2, away), Kansas (Feb. 20, ABC, away), Missouri (Feb. 26, ESPN, home) and Oklahoma State (March 4, ESPN, away). The Sooners will play another nationally televised contest (Fox Sports Net) should they make the championship game of the Top of the World Classic. A total of 14 other games are scheduled to be televised either regionally as part of the Big 12 syndicated package or locally on the new Sooner Sports Network.
In the IGA SuperThrift Sooner Holiday Classic, Oklahoma will face San Diego Nov. 26 and either Southwest Texas or Cal-Irvine Nov. 27.
The 64th annual All-College Tournament, the nation's longest-running tournament, will feature Mt. St. Mary's (OU's opponent Dec. 29), Arkansas State and Valparaiso. All four teams in the field participated in last year's NCAA Tournament. The event will be held at the Myriad in downtown Oklahoma City.
"A significant difference this year from the past is that we're putting a lot of new, inexperienced players into the frying pan right away," said head coach Kelvin Sampson. "Of our six guards, only one, Tim Heskett, has Division I experience. The other ones, although they have great potential, will be tested severely by this schedule, especially early in the season.
"Also, adding Mississippi to games we already had scheduled with Arkansas and Cincinnati makes this our stiffest challenge in the six years we've been at Oklahoma as far as a non-conference schedule. And that's good. When your program gets to a Sweet 16 level, you have to accept the challenge of playing tougher teams. By the time Cincinnati gets here Dec. 22, it has a chance to be ranked No. 1 in the nation."
Sampson continued, "I think the schedule sets up great for our fans, especially with the tournaments we're in. We play an exciting San Diego team in the first round of the second annual IGA SuperThrift Sooner Holiday Classic, one of the teams that beat Gonzaga in their conference last year. Also, Mt. St. Mary's, Valparaiso and Arkansas State will make for a competitive All-College Tournament."
OU could play as many as 10 teams that made the 1999 NCAA Tournament. Five more possible opponents competed in the National Invitation Tournament last March.
Oklahoma will prepare for the regular season with a pair of home exhibition games against the Mexican National Team Nov. 6 and Athletes First Nov. 13.
Complete 1999-2000 Men's Basketball Schedule