All-College basketball: Saving a treasured event
For the Friday Oklahoman, I wrote about the future of the All-College. You can read that here.
I felt a little bad questioning whether the event would last or even should. I first went to the All-College in 1970, when it was in State Fair Arena. Two of my favorite sporting events of all time were the ’72 and ’73 All-Colleges, at the new Myriad. In ’72, Long Beach State, coached by Jerry Tarkanian, beat Florida State, the defending NCAA runnerup, in the finals. In ’73, Southern Cal’s glorious team beat Oral Roberts, the eventual Midwest Regional runnerup, in the title game.
Those were the days, my friend. But they are gone. And the All-College has to adapt or die.
Anyway, here is some of the stuff I didn’t get in the paper but you might find interesting:
* The All Sports likes the 1 p.m. Saturday tipoff time for the OU-A&M game. “We’re excited about that,” said All Sports executive director Tim Brassfield. “Allows people to get out and enjoy downtown. Also allows them to be freed up for their Christmas parties.”
Seats in the lower bowl of Chesapeake Arena are available for $10.
* Arkansas could be the OSU men’s opponent in the 2014 All-College. The All-College would like a quality opponent for the Cowgirls, too.
* As far as a Bedlam All-College in 2014, the coaches, Lon Kruger and Travis Ford, aren’t necessarily against the idea, even though coaches usually lead the resistance. The chief problem any coaches have of more games against arch-rivals? A winless season. It’s one thing for an OU or an OSU coach to go 0-2 in Bedlam. But what about 0-3? Or 0-4? Of course, Bedlam in the Big 12 Tournament has been a rarity over the years. Doesn’t happen all that often.
* The All Sports Association has floated the idea of making the All-College a conference game – the Cowboys and the Sooners alternately giving up a Bedlam home game to play in OKC. OU and OSU have responded lukewarmly, and that’s because they want to act with class. It’s an awful idea. Give up your marquee home game, in a sport that’s had trouble maintaining quality attendance? Fat chance.
* It’s too bad the Sooners didn’t agree to move the OU-Vanderbilt women’s game from Sunday to Saturday and be a part of an All-College doubleheader. That would make for quite the day of basketball. OU-A&M men, OU-Vandy women. That would bring two separate crowds downtown. Wouldn’t fill up the ‘Peake, but it would draw a nice crowd.
* The All Sports Association is hosting an NCAA women’s regional in March. Probably going to be the Baylor Invitational, but still, it will be cool to see the penultimate stop of the transcendent player in women’s basketball, Britney Griner.
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