HawgBeat - Arkansas, Oklahoma announce multi-year series beginning in 2020-21
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Arkansas, Oklahoma announce multi-year series beginning in 2020-21

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger has worked with Eric Musselman and Chris Crutchfield in the past.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger has worked with Eric Musselman and Chris Crutchfield in the past. (Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)

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Arkansas has announced it will play Oklahoma as part of its 2020-21 non-conference basketball schedule.

It will be a neutral-site matchup on Dec. 12, 2020, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, which is located about halfway between the two campuses. It is the first of a multi-year neutral-site series between the two schools.

“I have tremendous respect for (Oklahoma) head coach Lon Kruger and the Sooner basketball program,” head coach Eric Musselman said in a statement. “We are also appreciative of the city of Tulsa and the BOK Center. This is a great game for both programs and Tulsa is the perfect neutral-site location.

"Not only will it be exciting for the region, this is the type of game that will draw national exposure. We feel like this will be a great experience for both our student-athletes and fans, while the environment versus a premier program from one of the top power conferences will help us in SEC play and beyond.”

The second game of the series is scheduled for Dec. 11, 2021, at the BOK Center and there is a possibility for two additional games in 2022 and 2023. Tickets for the games will be split 50-50 and divided at midcourt, according to a release by the UA, with purchase information to be released at a later date.

The two teams have previously met on the hardwood 28 times, with the Razorbacks leading the all-time series 16-12. Most recently, they knocked off the Sooners 92-83 at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 23, 2017.

As regional opponents separated by less than 200 miles, all but five of their matchups were played on campus in either Norman, Okla., or Fayetteville. In addition to Portland, they've also met in Hawaii and Alaska in early-season tournaments. The other two off-campus games were in Little Rock (1975) and Oklahoma City (1944).

The renewal of the series next season will feature two coaching staffs who are very familiar with each other.

Musselman was actually an assistant for Kruger with the Atlanta Hawks for two season from 2000-02. Chris Crutchfield, the Razorbacks’ associate head coach, spent eight seasons on Kruger’s staff at Oklahoma before joining Musselman’s staff in Fayetteville.

Both teams also have a player from the other’s state. Arkansas forward Reggie Chaney is originally from Tulsa, while Oklahoma guard Austin Reaves is from Newark, Ark., and played at Cedar Ridge High School. In his first season eligible with the Sooners, Reaves averaged 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Oklahoma is believed to be one of two Big 12 opponents on the Razorbacks’ schedule next season, as they’ll likely have a road game in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Other known non-conference games include a road trip to Tulsa as part of a home-and-home that started at Bud Walton Arena last year and a matchup with Old Dominion at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock on Dec. 19.

Arkansas will also play in the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas on Nov. 20 and 22. San Francisco is reportedly its first opponent at the event and then it would face either Louisville or Colorado State.

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