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Tulsa Basketball Schedule Features Seven Post-Season Tournament Teams

Senior Marcus Hill returns for his fourth year with the Golden Hurricane.
Senior Marcus Hill returns for his fourth year with the Golden Hurricane.
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Sept. 13, 2000

The 2000-01 University of Tulsa men's basketball schedule was announced today by Buzz Peterson, first-year head basketball coach. Tulsa will face seven teams which made post-season competition last season, and will tip-off the season the earliest in school history.

The Hurricane will play nine games against post-season participants from a year ago. Tulsa faces NCAA participants Kansas and Creighton once each, Fresno State twice and will see either North Carolina or Winthrop at the NABC Classic. NIT participants on the Hurricane schedule include Arizona State, Southwest Missouri State and SMU.

"I'm really excited about our schedule. Our non-conference schedule gives us a great opportunity to face high profile teams from the top conferences in the likes of North Carolina, Kansas and Iowa," said Peterson. "People have said we have a tough schedule, but I look at it as a great opportunity for our basketball program. My goal is for us to be at our peak when the conference season and tournament roll around."

Tulsa opens the 2000-01 campaign at the NABC Classic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Friday, Nov. 10. The Hurricane squares off in the season opener against Arizona State of the PAC-10. The Sun Devils registered a 19-13 record last season. North Carolina and Winthrop play in the other first round game. The Tar Heels eliminated Tulsa from the NCAA Tournament last year in the South Regional finals with a 59-55 victory, while Winthrop represented the Big South Conference at the NCAA Tournament.

Tulsa's Nov. 11 starting date is the earliest in school history by four days. The Hurricane began the 1998-99 campaign on Nov. 15. "I like beginning the season early, but since we do start so early we have very little time to waste in our preseason preparations," added Peterson.

Tulsa opens the home season on Nov. 17 as North Texas invades the Donald W. Reynolds Center. The Hurricane handed the Mean Green a 113-77 loss last year in Denton, Texas. On Nov. 20, Rhode Island returns a game played last year on its homecourt, as the Hurricane opened the 1999-2000 season with a 91-66 victory against the Rams.

The month of December has the Hurricane facing Santa Clara in a first-round game at the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge, Dec. 1-2, in Iowa City, Iowa. Host Iowa takes on Tennessee-Chattanooga in the other first round game, while the consolation and championship games will be played the next night.

Tulsa will continue on the road against the Southwest Missouri State Bears on Dec. 5, which begins a two-week span where the Hurricane plays three post-season teams from a year ago, as well as cross-town rival Oral Roberts. ORU is next on the Tulsa schedule for Dec. 10. The Hurricane will look to avenge a one-point loss , 60-59, to the Golden Eagles last season. Tulsa travels to Lawrence, Kansas to face the Jayhawks on Dec. 16. KU posted a 24-10 record last season, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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page 2 tulsa announces 2000-01 basketball schedule

The Hurricane returns home before the Christmas Holiday to face two former Missouri Valley Conference rivals. Tulsa hosts Creighton (Dec. 19) and Wichita State (Dec. 22) before taking an eight-day break. The Hurricane battled the Bluejays for a 75-67 victory in Omaha last year, and renews the school's longest rivalry with the Shockers of Wichita State. After 114 games, the series between Tulsa and Wichita State is tied at 57. This will be the first meeting since December 1997 when the Hurricane posted a 50-40 win.

Tulsa continues its homestand just before the New Year with a matchup against Prairie View A&M (Dec. 3), and hosts Jackson State on Jan. 2 to begin the new year. The Hurricane has a stiff test in the conference opener with a home game against Fresno State (Jan. 6). The Jerry Tarkanian-led Bulldogs defeated the Hurricane three times a year ago, by a total of just five points.

"The Western Athletic Conference has proven to be a very competitive basketball conference. This year the league appears to be stronger from top to bottom than it has been recently," said Peterson.

The west coast and Hawaii swing is early on the Hurricane schedule this year as Tulsa travels to San Jose State (Jan. 11) and Hawaii (Jan. 13). Tulsa returns home for a mid-week game against Billy Tubbs' TCU Horned Frogs on Jan. 17, before a one day trip to UTEP (Jan. 20).

Two weeks after playing San Jose State and Hawaii for the first time, the Spartans and Warriors make the trek to Tulsa to close out the month of January. The Hurricane plays San Jose State on Jan. 25, before hosting Hawaii on Jan. 28.

The month of February begins with Tulsa making the trip south of the Red River to play TCU (Feb. 1) and SMU (Feb. 3). The Hurricane returns home for three league games against Rice (Feb. 8), UTEP (Feb. 10) and Nevada (Feb. 15).

Tulsa returns the visit to Rice two weeks later to face the Owls on Feb. 22 in Houston, Texas. The Hurricane will close out the home season two days later by hosting SMU, before taking another trip out west to complete the regular season against Nevada (Mar. 1) and Fresno State (Mar. 3). The Donald W. Reynolds Center will be the site for the 2001 Williams Western Athletic Conference Tournament, March 6-10.

Dates and times of Tulsa's regular season contests are subject to change due to the WAC's television package with Fox Sports. Fans can get an early glimpse of the Golden Hurricane team in two exhibition games, Nov. 2 against Athletes First and Nov. 5 against World Wide Foreign, before tipping off the regular season.

Tulsa completed the 1999-00 season with a school record 32-5 mark, won the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The Hurricane returns eight letterwinners and two starters from last year's team.