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May 13, 2005

Stillwater, Okla. –
The 19th-ranked Carolina Gamecock men’s tennis squad will face 51st-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday in an NCAA First Round match up in Stillwater, Oklahoma. First serve for the opener of the Stillwater Regional is set for 11 a.m. (ET) on Saturday at Oklahoma State’s DeBois Tennis Center. This year marks the 12th straight trip to the NCAA tournament for the Gamecocks (18-9, 6-5 SEC), and their 16th appearance in the last 19 seasons.

USC and Oklahoma (15-6, 2-5 Big 12) have never met before, but they have shared common opponents over the years. Carolina is 10-9 all-time against the current members schools of OU’s Big 12 conference, while the Sooners hold a 1-4 mark against current members of the SEC, since 1990. Their lone win came over Arkansas earlier this year, with the Sooners winning 6-1 in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Gamecocks have not faced Big 12 opposition yet this year, and their last match against a school from that conference was a 6-3 loss to Kansas at the 1992 ITA Team Indoor Championships. USC’s last win over a Big 12 opponent came the year prior, in 1991, when they defeated Texas A&M in the regular season (5-3) and Oklahoma State in the NCAA Tournament (5-2) on their way to the school’s fourth Sweet Sixteen appearance. The 1991 NCAA match against the Cowboys, who are the No. 13 seed in this year’s tournament and the Stillwater Regional host team, was also the only previous time Carolina has faced a Big 12 opponent in the NCAA Tournament.

This weekend also marks the first time the Gamecocks have played in the state of Oklahoma. Carolina is 2-3 all-time against teams from the Sooner State, having split four matches with Oklahoma State, and losing once to Tulsa. Three of the four matches with the Cowboys have come on a neutral court (1973, 1985, 1991), while USC played host to OSU in 1986. The match with the Golden Hurricanes of Tulsa was played as part of a weekend doubleheader with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. in 1993.

The winner of the USC-Oklahoma match-up will take on the winner of Big 12 Tournament finalist Oklahoma State and Missouri Valley Conference champion, and winner of seven straight matches, Southwest Missouri State. The regional championship match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 15, with the winner advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. All matches from the Sweet Sixteen through the national championship match will be contested May 21-24 on the campus of Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas.

Live stats will be available for all three matches at Oklahoma State’s official website, Fans just need to click on the OSU men’s tennis page and then on the NCAA Regional Host link on the right sidebar.