We’ve already known there was a chance the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team would face the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the NIT Season Tip-Off, but now we know it’s a certainty. From Jon Rothstein on Wednesday:
Sources: Syracuse will play Oklahoma State and Ole Miss will face Penn State in the first round of the 2019 Preseason NIT at the Barclays Center.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 10, 2019
That game will take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on November 27, while the championship game — between the winner of this contest and Ole Miss vs. Penn State — happens on November 29. Syracuse hasn’t faced OK State since a 72-68 loss in the 2006 Jimmy V Classic, and the Orange are 2-3 against the Cowboys all-time. One of the other games was a second round win against them in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, however, so we’re fine with the losing record.
Last season, Oklahoma State went 12-20 overall and 5-13 in the Big 12 (ninth in the standings), losing to TCU in the first round of the conference tournament. Coach Mike Boynton now enters his third season in charge on a little bit of a hot seat as the team’s win total dipped by nine from his first to his second year. But the Cowboys return four of their top five scorers from 2018-19, and add UMass transfer Jonathan Laurent.
This game would be more enjoyable for us if Doug Gottlieb would unblock us on Twitter, but he’s still super mad from the first apology tour and various other times when Syracuse’s success owned him publicly. On the other hand, Doug’s been pretty busy lately stanning for Chief Wahoo for some reason and talking down to small-market NBA teams, so perhaps he’s already got the shade covered.
The other side of the bracket offer the most intrigue for long-time Syracuse fans, as the Orange could potentially face Penn State for the first time since 1982. SU and PSU faced one another 105 times before that point, which is the fourth most of any opponent in Orange program history. So rekindling whatever that was (certainly not a rivalry) could be fun.
Here’s the schedule now, with the slight tweak since we know we’ll be facing OK State now. Also, our final opponent is probably one of Western Michigan or Seattle, neither of which excite, but both of which should be wins. Expect that news soon, now that the NIT Season Tip-Off has decided on matchups in Brooklyn.
November TBD: Bucknell Bison
November 13: Colgate Raiders
November 20: Cornell Big Red
November 27: Oklahoma State Cowboys, NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn)
November 29: Ole Miss Rebels / Penn State Nittany Lions, NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn)
December 3: Iowa Hawkeyes
December 14: at Georgetown Hoyas
December 18: Oakland Golden Grizzlies
December 21: North Florida Ospreys
December 28: Niagara Purple Eagles