The TU men’s basketball team will play home games against Wichita State and Oral Roberts, and contests at Oklahoma State and against Oregon State as part of a 12-game non-conference schedule, as announced today by TU Head Coach Frank Haith.
The Golden Hurricane, which features nine seniors for 2015-16, is coming off a season in which it reached the second round of the postseason NIT and finished in second place in its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. TU will play six non-conference games at the Donald W. Reynolds Center, including contests against Wichita State, Oral Roberts, Iona, UALR, Central Arkansas and Northern Arizona.
The Hurricane will face in-state rival Oklahoma State and Missouri State on the road, and play in previously announced neutral-site events Paradise Jam and the Far West Classic. Paradise Jam features TU’s first round opponent Ohio, as well as Florida State, South Carolina, DePaul, Hofstra, Indiana State, and Norfolk State. Tulsa will meet Oregon State at the one-game Far West Classic in Portland, Ore.
“I’m excited about our non-conference schedule, not only for the opportunities it presents our program this season, but for the future as well. Wichita State, Oklahoma State and Iona all played in the postseason last year and we start an exciting series with Oregon State in Portland. We also have some great regional games and a trip to the Virgin Islands, so our guys are going to be tested nightly and well prepared once AAC play begins in late December,” said Haith.
Tulsa will face up to five non-conference opponents that played in the postseason, including NCAA Tournament participants Wichita State and Oklahoma State, and NIT participant Iona. Oral Roberts played in the CBI, and potential Paradise Jam foe Norfolk State won 20 games and played in the CIT postseason tournament.
TU fans will have four opportunities to watch the Hurricane at the Reynolds Center out of the gate. Tulsa will hold two exhibition games prior to opening the season with a pair of home games, including a contest against longtime rival Wichita State in the first week of the season. In exhibition contests, the Hurricane will host Haskell Indian Nations (Nov. 7) and Rogers State (Nov. 11).
Tulsa opens the 2015-16 regular season on Saturday, Nov. 14 at home against Central Arkansas. The Golden Hurricane won the only previous meeting between the schools, 65-52 in 2007-08 at the Reynolds Center.
The Hurricane will play host to Wichita State on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Reynolds Center. The former Missouri Valley Conference foes are meeting for the sixth consecutive year since renewing the series in 2010. At 124 games, it is the most-played rivalry in TU program history. The Shockers reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
Following the two home contests, Tulsa embarks for the Virgin Islands to play in the Paradise Jam tournament. TU opens the tournament against Ohio on Nov. 20. The winner of that game will face the winner of Indiana State-Norfolk State on Nov. 22, while the first round non-winners meet on Nov. 21. The final round will take place Nov. 23.
Tulsa and Ohio have met twice, most recently in 2009 – an 81-80 TU win at the Reynolds Center. The Hurricane holds a 28-14 all-time advantage over former Valley rival Indiana State, including a 63-62 win in 2013 at the Great Alaska Shootout. Florida State holds a 4-0 series advantage over TU, while Tulsa has never met South Carolina, DePaul, Hofstra or Norfolk State in basketball.
The Hurricane returns home on Nov. 28 to play host to UALR. TU is 4-0 all-time at home against the Trojans, and claimed a 78-73 victory last season in Little Rock. The UALR contest is the sixth regular season game just in the month of November.
Tulsa begins the month of December by traveling the Cimarron Turnpike to face Oklahoma State on Dec. 2. The contest will mark the first meeting between the schools in Stillwater since 2011, and the 108th meeting overall. TU and OSU played at the MGM Grand Main Event in Las Vegas last season, a game the Cowboys won, 73-58.
The PSO Mayor’s Cup returns to the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Wednesday, Dec. 2, when the Hurricane plays host to Oral Roberts. It will be the 51st meeting between the intra-city rivals as TU holds a 32-18 advantage over the Golden Eagles in the series.
Tulsa plays host to fellow 2015 postseason NIT participant Iona on Dec. 8 at the Reynolds Center. It will be the first meeting in basketball between the Hurricane and the Gaels of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Hurricane travels to nearby Springfield, Mo., to face Missouri State on Dec. 13. Tulsa won, 74-70, in Tulsa last season, but the Bears hold a 21-19 edge in the all-time series.
Tulsa plays Oregon State in a neutral site contest on Dec. 19 in the Far West Classic Invitational in Portland, Ore. The game will be played at the Moda Center, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, and will tip off at 10:00 p.m. CT. Tulsa and Oregon State have played once before, which resulted in a 59-57 Hurricane win on Dec. 23, 1998 in the Pearl Harbor Classic in Kahuku, Hawai'i.
Tulsa concludes its pre-conference slate with a home game against Northern Arizona on Dec. 22 at the Reynolds Center. The Hurricane has won both prior meetings against the Lumberjacks – 79-64 at Tulsa in 2004-05, and 63-58 at NAU in 2005-06.
The 18-game American Athletic Conference schedule will be announced at a later date.