OSU to open AdvoCare Invitational against Memphis, could face Villanova in second round
The Oklahoma State basketball team will get a Thanksgiving test against a Penny Hardaway-coached squad. Black Friday could bring an even larger challenge.
The Cowboys will face the Memphis Tigers in their opening game of the AdvoCare Invitational on Nov. 22 in Orlando, Florida. The matchup will tip at 2:30 or 3 p.m. and be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
The other matchup on OSU's side of the bracket is reigning national champion Villanova against Canisius, meaning the respective winners and losers of each game will play the next day. The Cowboys are guaranteed three games in the tournament, with one each on Nov. 22, 23 and 25. Regardless of opponent, OSU will play at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 23. Florida State-UAB and LSU-Charleston play on the other side of the bracket.
OSU last faced Memphis in December 2014, winning the road game 73-44. The Tigers' 73-68 victory over the Cowboys in the 2013 AdvoCare Invitational championship game is the Cowboys' only loss in the programs' past five meetings. OSU is 5-3 in the series overall.
The Tigers hired Hardaway, an alumnus and four-time NBA All-Star, in March after firing Tubby Smith. Memphis failed to make the NCAA Tournament in each of its two seasons under Smith and hasn't made the tournament since 2013-14.
Memphis finished 108th in last season's RPI rankings, meaning OSU narrowly missed what would've been a sixth guaranteed game against a top 100 team in its nonconference schedule. Among those known five top 100 teams on OSU's schedule is Charleston, who the Cowboys could face in the tournament again after the Cougars visit Gallagher-Iba Arena on Nov. 18.
The entirety of the Cowboys' nonconference schedule is yet to be announced, though several games and dates are known. OSU will also play at Tulsa and reportedly face Minnesota at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Nov. 18: College of Charleston in Gallagher-Iba Arena
Nov. 22: Memphis in the AdvoCare Invitational
Nov. 23: Villanova or Canisius in the Advocare Invitational
Nov. 25: TBD in the AdvoCare Invitational
Dec. 8: Houston in Gallagher-Iba Arena
Dec. 16: Nebraska in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Jan. 26: South Carolina in Gallagher-Iba Arena (Big 12/SEC Challenge)