Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MU to Play Oklahoma State in Men's Basketball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MU to Play Oklahoma State in Men's Basketball

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY * The frost between Missouri and the Big 12 continues to thaw.

In their third season since splitting from the conference and joining the SEC, the Tigers have scheduled a men's basketball game against the Big 12's Oklahoma State for this season. The teams will tip off Dec. 30 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Game time and TV information will be announced at a later date.

As Mizzou transitions into the Kim Anderson era, the 2014-15 nonconference schedule is shaping up to the team's most ambitious in several years. The Tigers also face former Big 12 foe Oklahoma in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge on Dec. 5 in Norman, Okla. Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were NCAA Tournament teams last season.

Mizzou also hosts Xavier this season and plays in the Maui Invitational Nov. 24-26. The eight-team field in Hawaii includes Arizona, Kansas State, Purdue, Brigham Young, Pittsburgh, San Diego State and Chaminade. The Tigers will play their annual Braggin' Rights game against Illinois on Dec. 20 at Scottrade Center.

Missouri was set to host North Carolina State this season as part of a two-year series, but that game has been pushed back to the 2015- 16 season, Missouri athletics director Mike Alden said.

In a news conference Monday at the Sprint Center, Alden said Anderson has wanted to "ratchet up" the nonconference schedule even though the Tigers figure to be one of the least experienced teams in the SEC this season, having lost players who accounted for more than 75 percent of last year's scoring.

"I just felt like this is a game that would be great for us," Anderson said. "We want to play here every year and it's a quality opponent. I don't know if it's a smart game for me to agree to schedule, but I think it's a great game."

Two years ago, a regular-season matchup with a Big 12 team would have seemed improbable for Mizzou, but Alden credited Anderson for helping broker the deal with Oklahoma State. The Tigers and Cowboys met in last season's Cotton Bowl a 41-31 MU victory and Alden has been negotiating with OSU athletics director Mike Holder for a month to arrange the basketball game.

"Kim's presence and his involvement had a lot to do with it," Alden said. …

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