Tahlequah Daily Press

September 4, 2013

Season-opening tripleheader to feature OU hoops


Associated Press

— DALLAS — NCAA tournament teams Oklahoma and Colorado and defending NIT champion Baylor will play their season openers as part of a tip-off tripleheader.

The Tip-Off Showcase is Nov. 8 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, about 20 miles from the NFL stadium where the NCAA Final Four will be played next April.

"It's great for basketball fans to come see three great games and these programs in one day," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.

Oklahoma will play Alabama of the SEC in one of the matchups. Baylor will play former Big 12 rival Colorado, and SMU will begin its second season under coach Larry Brown against TCU.

Alabama returns three starters, including leading scorer Trevor Releford (14.9 points per game). Oklahoma will have six newcomers.

Sooners coach Lon Kruger hopes the timing of the tripleheader, the day after the Oklahoma football team plays a game in Waco, will draw fans to the AAC along Interstate 35 between the Baylor campus and Norman, Okla.

Baylor and Colorado will play for the third straight season after no longer being conference foes. The Bears won a matchup in the 2012 NCAA tournament, but lost to the Buffaloes in the Charleston Classic last fall.

"It's great for our program to get back down to Big 12 territory, kind of where our roots are, and Big Eight territory for that matter," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. "An opportunity to play a team like Baylor right out of the shoot, first game of the year is going to be a great challenge and opportunity for us."

TCU, going into its second Big 12 season, plays first-year American Athletic Conference member SMU and its Hall of Fame coach.

"Larry Brown may be the best and most accomplished coach in this state, regardless of sport or level," TCU coach Trent Johnson said.