The Tulsa men's basketball team will face up to six 2014 postseason opponents, including home contests against Oklahoma and Creighton, as part of a 12-game non-conference schedule, as announced Friday by TU Head Coach Frank Haith.
The slate is highlighted by home games against Oklahoma and Creighton, (No. 20 final national ranking), and a road game at Wichita State, which completed a perfect regular season and finished No. 7 in the country.
The Golden Hurricane, coming off a conference championship and its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years, is moving into its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. The 18-game league schedule, which features home-and-home games against defending national champion UConn, will be announced at a later date.
Tulsa will play seven non-league games at the Donald W. Reynolds Center, including five at home in December. Wichita State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Missouri State, and potential opponents Oklahoma State and Oregon State join OU and Creighton as 2014 postseason participants on the slate this season. Seven of the 12 Hurricane opponents on the pre-conference schedule posted 20-win seasons in 2013-14.
"We have put together a competitive schedule for our first year here at Tulsa," Haith said. "We are moving into a multi-bid league in the American Athletic Conference, and believe we have a non-conference schedule that will help us build a strong RPI and strength of schedule and prepare us for the rigors of the American Athletic Conference."
Tulsa will play a total of 10 non-conference games within a four-hour driving distance of campus. In addition to the seven home contests, TU plays at Oral Roberts, Wichita State and UALR.
TU fans can get their first look at the 2014-15 edition of Hurricane at its Nov. 8 exhibition contest against Southwestern Oklahoma State at the Reynolds Center.
The Golden Hurricane opens the season with a road contest at crosstown rival Oral Roberts on Saturday, Nov. 15 in the annual PSO Mayor's Cup. The Hurricane holds a 32-17 lead in the all-time series, and has won four of the last five meetings between the intra-city rivals.
Tulsa's 2014-15 home opener will take place Monday, Nov. 17 when the Golden Hurricane plays host to Louisiana-Lafayette. It will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools, but first since the 1977-78 season. TU holds a 2-1 advantage in the series.
Prior to heading to Las Vegas for the MGM Grand Main Event, the Hurricane plays host to Abilene Christian at the Reynolds Center on Nov. 19.
The ORU and ULL contests are part of the preliminary rounds of the MGM Grand Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Hurricane, residing in the Heavyweight bracket in Las Vegas, will play Auburn at 10 p.m. CT on Nov. 24 in a game to be televised on ESPNU. Tulsa will then play either Oklahoma State or Oregon State on Nov. 26.
Auburn, which also features a first-year head coach in Bruce Pearl, has won both prior meetings with TU, including a 2009 NIT second round matchup. Tulsa and OSU have met 107 times on the basketball court, and this could be the first true neutral site contest between the schools since the 1994 NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City. The Hurricane won its only meeting against Oregon State, 59-57, at the Pearl Harbor Classic in 1998. The Beavers participated in the CBI Tournament last season.
On Nov. 29, Tulsa travels to take on Wichita State. The former Missouri Valley Conference foes are meeting for the fifth consecutive year since renewing the series in 2010. At 123 games, it is the most-played rivalry in TU program history.
The Golden Hurricane then returns home to the Reynolds Center on Dec. 3 to play host to Creighton. It is the fourth straight season the former MVC rivals have played. Tulsa leads the all-time series, 43-35.
Tulsa travels to play at UALR on Dec. 7. The teams have met seven times, all since 2006, and the Hurricane holds a 4-3 lead in the series. TU has won all four of its contests at home, including a 78-64 victory at the Reynolds Center last season. It will be the final pre-league road game of the season for the Hurricane.
The Golden Hurricane closes its non-conference slate with four straight home games in December. The homestand begins with a contest against Southeastern Oklahoma State on Dec. 10. The schools have played three times - all between 1925-26 and 1935-36.
Tulsa plays host to Oklahoma on Saturday, Dec. 13. It will be the Sooners' first visit to the Reynolds Center since 2005. OU won 101-91 in Norman last season, and leads the series 29-11.
Missouri State, which played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, makes a trip to the Reynolds Center on Dec. 17. Tulsa won its last home game against Missouri State, 61-42 in 2012, and the Bears own a 20-18 edge in the series. The final non-conference contest will be played Dec. 22 against Incarnate Word in the first meeting between the schools.
8 Sat. SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE (Exh.)
15 Sat. @ ORAL ROBERTS^
17 Mon. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE^
19 Wed. ABILENE CHRISTIAN
24 Mon. Auburn @ MGM Grand Main Event^
26 Wed. Oklahoma State/Oregon State @ MGM Grand Main Event^
29 Sat. @ Wichita State
3 Wed. CREIGHTON
7 Sun. @ UALR
10 Wed. SOUTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA STATE
13 Sat. OKLAHOMA
17 Wed. MISSOURI STATE
22 Mon. INCARNATE WORD