JOPLIN -- ESPN and Missouri Southern State University announced on Wednesday ESPNU will televise the One State, One Spirit Classic presented by Leggett & Platt.
The Oct. 30 event features the Missouri Southern Lions hosting the University of Missouri in men's basketball at 5:30 p.m.
The telecast marks Missouri Southern's first time hosting a basketball game on an ESPN network and doors to the event open at 4 p.m.
The contest will serve as the exhibition opener for both clubs. Missouri Southern is coming off an impressive 26-5 campaign, including the 2011 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) championship. Head Coach Robert Corn's crew advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional and won their first league crown since 1999-2000, finishing with the third most wins in school history.
"We are very excited to be a part of this event and we are really pleased that the University of Missouri has agreed to this game," Missouri Southern Head Coach Robert Corn said. "With everything our community has been through this event should generate some excitement and raise some resources which will make things a little easier for a lot of individuals in our community. It is also exciting to have ESPNU televise our game. We are really pleased to be able to get this type of exposure for our community."
Missouri returns all five starters from last season's 23-11 campaign. Now under the direction of first year head coach Frank Haith, Mizzou advanced to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament in 2011 and welcomes back one of the country's more experienced squads with seven seniors and nearly 90 percent of its scoring, rebounding and assists returning. The Tigers will be led by preseason All-American Marcus Denmon, who averaged 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals en route to first team All-Big 12 honors as a junior.
"What a tremendous gesture by ESPN to showcase the rebuilding efforts and the resolve of the folks down in Joplin," Mizzou Head Coach Frank Haith said. "That community has been through so much, and our team is honored to be a part of a very special weekend in that city. This is just a basketball game, but both teams are going to play their hearts out for those people, that community and this state."
|Reserved and general admission tickets to the One State, One Spirit Classic are sold out. However a limited number of premium seats are still available by calling the Mizzou Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-CAT-PAWS.||These $500 courtside seat packages are designed to enhance proceeds for the Missouri Southern Foundation's Tornado Relief Fund and include one on-court chairback seat, access to a VIP reception the night before the game featuring both teams and a commemorative ticket autographed by Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith and Missouri Southern Head Coach Robert Corn.|
Fans can also purchase "virtual" tickets for the event. For $10 fans receive a commemorative game ticket (not valid for game admission) and all proceeds from the sales go to benefit the tornado relief efforts.
Tickets can be purchased online at mutigers.com.