Washington State will face the Oklahoma Sooners on Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. The Cougar will then face the winner or loser of the matchup between Northern Iowa and Hawaii.
ESPN announced the bracket for the three-day tournament on Thursday morning.
The Cougars have only faced the Sooners once before, falling to OU in the 2011 76 Classic by a score of 74-59. In 2015 the Sooners are expected to be one the country's most formidable teams. ESPN's Eammon Brennan ranked them No. 9 in his Way Too Early Top-25 back in April.
OU is led by guard Buddy Hield, who is likely to be on many pre-season All-American lists. He's surrounded by an experienced roster, including key returnees such as Isaiah Cousins, Jordan Woodard and former Gonzaga Bulldog Ryan Spangler.
Here is WSU's press release:
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Washington State University men’s basketball will face 2015 NCAA Tournament ‘Sweet 16’ participant, Oklahoma, in its first game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. PT/6 p.m. HT at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of Hawaii at Honolulu, ESPN Regional Television (ERT), announced Thursday.
The matchup between the Cougars and the Sooners will be televised on ESPNU. The other three matchups scheduled for Dec. 22 start with the morning session which begins with Auburn taking on New Mexico in the first game of the day at 11:30 a.m. PT (9:30 a.m. HT), followed by BYU against Harvard at 1:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. HT). In the second half of the bracket, the evening session, Northern Iowa will take on tournament-host Hawaii following the WSU-Oklahoma game at 10 p.m. PT (8 p.m. HT). Depending on the outcome of both games, the Cougars will take on either Northern Iowa or Hawaii on the second day of action. All four games Tuesday will be televised on ESPNU.
Washington State has faced Oklahoma just once in the two team’s histories, also an ERT Tournament, the 2011 76 Classic at Anaheim, Calif. The Sooners defeated the Cougars in that game, 74-59. The Cougars hold a 5-1 record against Hawaii and have won four-straight in the series. The last meeting between the two teams was in the Rainbow Classic, Dec. 29, 1991, a 63-61 WSU win. This season marks the second time WSU has participated in the Diamond Head Classic. The Cougars fell to Butler in the championship game of the 2010 tournament after defeating Mississippi State and No. 15 Baylor in the first two rounds. The Cougars hold an 82-81 all-time record in regular season tournaments, dating back to the 1954-55 season.
The second day of action starts Wednesday, Dec. 23 with Consolation #1 which will pit the losers of Auburn versus New Mexico and BYU versus Harvard against each other at 11:30 a.m. PT (9:30 a.m. HT). Semifinal #1 which features the winners of those two games will tip at 1:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. HT). The second session kicks off with Semifinal #2 which features the winners of the games between Oklahoma and Washington State and Northern Iowa against Hawaii, at 6 p.m. PT (4 p.m. HT) and will be followed by Consolation #2 in which the losers of those two games take on each other at 8:30 p.m. PT (6:30 p.m. HT). Semifinal #2 will air on ESPN2, as the other three games will be shown on ESPNU.
The teams get Dec. 24 off from game action and will take to the court for the final time on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. The seventh and fifth-place games will take place at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PT (8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. HT) (the order has not yet been decided), followed by the third-place game at 3:30 p.m. PT (1:30 p.m. HT) and finally the championship game at 5:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. HT). The first two games will be shown on either ESPNU or ESPN3 and the third-place and championship games will air on ESPN2.