The Big 12 Conference released its 90-game 2017-18 men's basketball schedule Thursday, completing Oklahoma's slate for the upcoming season. The Sooners will begin their league schedule on the road against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 30, and will have all 18 of their conference games televised nationally on an ESPN network.
Head coach Lon Kruger's Sooners will host Oklahoma State in their first home conference on Wednesday, Jan. 3 on ESPNU. OU plays its other eight league home games Jan. 9 vs. Texas Tech (ESPNU), Jan. 13 vs. TCU (ESPNU), Jan. 23 vs. Kansas (ESPN2), Jan. 30 vs. Baylor (ESPN2), Feb. 5 vs. West Virginia (ESPN Big Monday), Feb. 17 vs. Texas (ESPN/2), Feb. 24 vs. Kansas State (ESPNU) and Mar. 2 vs. Iowa State (ESPN2).
OU will play its other eight road games Jan. 6 at West Virginia (ESPN/2), Jan. 16 at Kansas State (ESPNU), Jan. 20 at Oklahoma State (ESPN/2), Feb. 3 at Texas (ESPN/2), Feb. 10 at Iowa State (ESPN/2), Feb. 13 at Texas Tech (ESPNews), Feb. 19 at Kansas (ESPN Big Monday) and Feb. 27 at Baylor (ESPN2).
The Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship will be played March 7-10 (Wednesday-Saturday) at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Of the Big 12's 90 league contests in 2016-17, 84 matchups (93.3 percent) will be seen on a national platform - ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews or CBS Sports. All 18 of Oklahoma's Big 12 contests will also be available through the ESPN app, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
The announcement of the conference contests completes Oklahoma's 2017-18 season schedule. The Sooners will open the regular season on Nov. 12 by hosting Nebraska-Omaha. OU's non-conference play features a home game against Northwestern (Dec. 22), off-campus games in opposing cities against USC (Dec. 8 at STAPLES Center) and Wichita State (Dec. 16 at INTRUST Bank Arena) and a road contest against Alabama (Jan. 27) as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Sooners will also participate in one of the most prestigious early-season tournaments in college basketball history at PK80 in Portland, Ore. OU opens the tournament against Arkansas (Nov. 23) and will face either Portland or defending-champion North Carolina in the second round (Nov. 24). Oklahoma would face either Connecticut, DePaul, Michigan State or Oregon in the final game (Nov. 26).
Oklahoma’s 2016-17 schedule was rated the toughest in the country by ESPN’s College Basketball Index, and the 2017-18 slate marks another season of aggressive scheduling and marquee matchups. Depending on its opponents in PK80, Oklahoma will play as many as 22 regular-season against teams that reached the 2017 postseason. Of OU’s 15 games played away from home, as many as 13 will be against an opponent that reached the NCAA Tournament or NIT last season.
Last season, Oklahoma was paced by will-be sophomore guard Kameron McGusty – a Big 12 honorable mention selection and member of the Big 12 All Newcomer team. McGusty is joined by a returning young core featuring junior guards Christian James and Rashard Odomes, junior forward Jamuni McNeace and senior forward Khadeem Lattin. OU also adds a top-25 recruiting class, highlighted by five star point guard Trae Young from Norman North High School.
The Sooners were given an early start to prepare for its challenging 2017-18 schedule with a preseason foreign trip to New Zealand and Australia. The Sooners went 4-0 during their time Down Under, scoring 119.0 points per game and winning by an average margin of 40 points. Young led the Sooners with 22.3 points, 7.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 21.8 minutes while James shot 12-of-13 (.923) from 3-point range and scored 16.3 points per game.