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OU men's basketball: Sooners, Arkansas to play neutral-site hoops series in Tulsa

NORMAN — OU-Texas football has long been one of the best rivalries in college football, in large part because of its unique setting on a neutral site, with fans split down the 50-yard line.

OU men's basketball will mimic that environment — without the buzz of a state fair going on around it — in December when it begins a multi-year series against Arkansas at Tulsa's BOK Center.

Tickets will be divided at midcourt to create a 50-50 atmosphere for the game between programs nearly equidistant from the arena.

"We're very excited to partner with the University of Arkansas and BOK Center in creating a new basketball series which we believe will develop into a fantastic pre-holiday tradition," OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a release. "Our goal is to turn this border rivalry into a weekend-long event that brings together two passionate fan bases and creates an atmosphere second to none."

The first meeting will take place Dec. 12, with a second scheduled for Dec. 11, 2021.

Ticket information and official branding will be announced later. 

"Both the action on the court and atmosphere in the stands should make for an exciting event," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said in a release. 

The Razorbacks hold a 16-12 edge in the all-time series between the programs. OU has won seven of the last 11 meetings.

Arkansas won the last meeting, 92-83, in Portland on Nov. 23, 2017 in the first round of the PK80.

Chris Crutchfield, who spent eight seasons on Kruger's staff at OU, is Arkansas' associate head coach under second-year coach Eric Musselman. Musselman was an assistant under Kruger for two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (2000-02).

OU is 2-0 all-time at the BOK Center, beating Tulsa in 2008 and USC in 2018. Arkansas has never played in the arena.

 

  

  



Related Photos
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger shouts during a men's NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Oklahoma won 65-51. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger shouts during a men's NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Oklahoma won 65-51. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-425467b53ebbb3b7c0c8c8ffab07de7e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger shouts during a men's NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Oklahoma won 65-51. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger shouts during a men's NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Oklahoma won 65-51. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger shouts during a men's NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Oklahoma won 65-51. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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