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Cowboys in Orange Bowl Classic - a Deeper Look

The Cowboys make their first appearance at the event December 19.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will be getting just a tad bit more orange this year.

Men's hoops coach Travis Ford announced on Tuesday morning that Oklahoma State will be heading to sunshine state season to take on Florida in December. The Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, entering its 22nd year, is held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

This won't be the first time the two sides have faced each other, although neither time has worked out well for the Cowboys. Florida beat OSU in the Elite Eight in 2000 and in a regular season meeting in 1993.

The match-up itself is interesting for a lot of reasons, some which apply to both teams.

OSU and Florida will meet at a time of great uncertainty for both programs. The Cowboys are entering a season where major pieces (Le'Bryan Nash and Michael Cobbins) and weak recruiting (only one big recruit) combines for what could be a rocky season. As for the Gators, integrating a new coach after losing Billy Donovan, who coached Florida for 19 years, to the Oklahoma City Thunder is never easy.

Along with uncertainty, both come off seasons that ended in disappointment. With OSU and Florida losing in the first round and missing the tournament, respectively, the December 19 meeting could be a marker of which team will bounce back and which team will continue disappointing their fan base.

The opportunity to prove themselves will be even more important for the Cowboys. After an off season that included rumors of a certain coach getting fired **cough**Travis Ford**cough** and a roster that leaves a lot to be desired, the Cowboys will be tested on just how much they can do this season. Marking a win against a perennial SEC championship contender could be just what the Cowboys need next season.

Fans can visit www.orangebowl.org or call (305) 341-4701 for ticket information.