STILLWATER — Oklahoma State basketball's 2012-13 nonconference schedule features a game that the school says “could be considered the biggest non-league game played in Gallagher-Iba Arena” since 2001.
The Cowboys will get a New Year's Eve visit from Gonzaga, a program widely regarded as one of the biggest heavy-hitters from a “mid-major” conference. Gonzaga, which plays in the West Coast Conference, has made 14 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Round of 32 last season.
The last time OSU played such a recognizable nonconference opponent at home was when Cincinnati traveled to Stillwater to open the 2001-02 season in a game televised nationally by ESPN.
The date with the Zags highlights a nonconference slate that also features an appearance in the Puerto Rico Tipoff (Nov. 15-17), a Dec. 1 contest at Virginia Tech, a team the Cowboys lost to twice last season, and home dates with South Florida (Dec. 5) and Missouri State (Nov. 8).
“It's a great home schedule, and we're very excited about having eight home non-conference games, but even more than that, the caliber of teams coming into Gagllagher-Iba Arena will be very challenging,” OSU coach coach Travis Ford said. “Our fans will enjoy having teams like Gonzaga, South Florida and Missouri State coming into our place. It's something we worked really hard on, to give our fans and our team a challenging schedule at home.”