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Thu., March 4, 2010, 9:32 a.m.

Zags to play in CBE Classic in November

We've mentioned this being part of Gonzaga's 2010-11 schedule, but more details were released Thursday about the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in November.

Gonzaga, Duke, Kansas State and Marquette will get together (pairings haven't been finalized) for the championship rounds of the tournament Nov. 22-23 in Kansas City, Mo. Those four schools will host regional games Nov. 14-17 before moving on to the Sprint Center the following week. A total of 12 teams will be involved in the tournament.

Texas won the 2009 event. More below.

Portions of the press release:

Duke, Kansas State, Gonzaga and Marquette will participate in the 2010 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, which culminates with the championship rounds at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 22-23. Championship round tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. (CST).

The format for the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic will remain the same as this past season. Twelve teams from across the nation will compete in the 10th annual event with Duke, Kansas State, Gonzaga, and Marquette hosting regional round games from Nov. 14-17. The four hosts will then advance to the championship rounds, Nov. 22-23, at Kansas City's Sprint Center, while the remainder of the field will participate in subregionals held at campus sites.

Match-ups for the championship rounds, as well as the other teams participating in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, will be announced at a later date. The 2009 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic was won by Texas, which beat Iowa (85-60) and Pittsburgh (78-62) en route to the title. The Longhorns' Damion James earned Tournament MVP honors for averaging 15 points and 10.5 rebounds during the championship rounds.

The four schools playing in Kansas City have combined for 21 Final Four appearances and 95 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Each of the four schools has been to the NCAA Tournament in the last two years.

The event is named after the College Basketball Experience, the award-winning and highly interactive college hoops fan facility adjacent to Sprint Center, which also features the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Now in its third year of operation, the College Basketball Experience is the nation's only facility that celebrates, in its entirety, the sport of men's collegiate basketball. The tournament, in partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), which was initially established in 2001 as the Guardians Classic. 

Ticket information: Tickets for Championship Round games at Sprint Center will be available Friday, March 5, at 10 a.m. (CST). Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or at

Duke: Ranked fourth in both polls with a 25-5 record - the third straight season of at least 25 wins...Duke is ranked in the Top 10 for the 53rd consecutive week the Blue Devils will be looking to win their 18th ACC Tournament title and ninth in the last 12 years...junior guard Nolan Smith (17.5 ppg) and junior forward Kyle Singler (17.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) head a roster that features 10 freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

Kansas State: Ranked fifth in both polls at 24-5...the Wildcats are enjoying a resurgence under third-year head coach Frank Martin, who this season has led KSU to its most overall and league (11) wins in the Big 12 era...K-State is one win shy of tying the school record for wins in a season...Kansas State starts three juniors, led by guard Jacob Pullen, who leads the team in scoring at 18.6 ppg...forward Curtis Kelly averages 11.2 ppg to go with a team-best 6.4 rpg...forward Dominique Sutton averages 7.4 ppg and 5.3 rpg.

Gonzaga: Ranked 14th (ESPN/USA Today) and 18th (AP) with a 25-5 record...the Bulldogs won their 10th straight West Coast Conference regular season title this season...Gonzaga has won 20 or more games 13 straight seasons and 16 times in the last 17 years...the Zags' starting lineup includes two sophomores, one freshman, and one junior...freshman forward Elias Harris is second on the team at 14.9 ppg while leading with a 7.4 rpg average...junior guard Steven Gray nets 13.5 ppg.

Marquette: Is 20-9 this season sporting a roster with only three seniors...the Golden Eagles are one of just two Big East teams to win at least 10 league games each of the last four seasons...junior swingman Jimmy Butler is second on the team with averages of 15.2 ppg and 6.5 rpg...sophomore guard Darius Johnson-Odom is netting 13.0 points per game...Marquette beat Duke to win the 2006 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. 

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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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