Oklahoma and Gonzaga meet up for the first time ever Thursday when they play in the 32nd All-College Classic at the Ford Center. The game is crucial for both squads as it will give the winner a boost as it prepares for conference action after the Christmas holiday.

Oklahoma has the opportunity to snag another crucial non-conference win Thursday when it hosts Gonzaga in the 32nd All-College Classic.

Coming off an 83-72 win over Arkansas, the Sooners (8-3) can do themselves a world of good come March with a December win against the 18th-ranked Zags (9-2).

The teams tip off at approximately 8 p.m. after the 6 p.m. contest featuring Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts.

Coached by Mark Few, Gonzaga in the past decade has gone from the school with the cool name to a nationally-prominent program. Few is in his ninth season as a head coach and owns a 220-54 record.

They are led by sophomore guard Matt Bouldin, who is averaging 13.3 points (a team-high), 4.7 boards and 2.2 assists an outing. The 6-foot-5 Bouldin didn't play in Monday's win over Northern Colorado due to an injury, but is projected to start against the Sooners.

Inside, the Zags will counter Oklahoma's freshman phenom with one of its own. Austin Daye, a 6-foot-10 forward, was one of the top players in the country coming out of high school a year ago. He hasn't disappointed with his 12.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots a contest.

Junior guard Jeremy Pargo, a 2007 first-team all-West Coast Conference pick, averages 11.5 points and 5.7 assists. The Zags' best outside threat is Micah Downs, a 6-foot-8 guard who started his career at Kansas. Averaging 10.9 points and 5.6 boards, Downs has connected on a team-best 20 3-pointers this season.

Gonzaga is averaging 74.9 points an outing while shooting .453 from the field, .351 from 3-point range and .709 from the free throw line. It holds opponents to just 60.6 points. Opponents are shooting .378 overall and .283 from 3-point range.

Oklahoma counters with 74.6 points a game while holding opponents to just 59.0 points.

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma's star freshman, leads the team with 13.0 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, but its senior Longar Longar who has been playing his best of late.

The 6-foot-11 center is coming off a 17-point, seven-rebound, four-block performance against Arkansas, where he took over for the Sooners on both ends of the court down the stretch. Longar is averaging 12.4 points and 6.9 boards.

Oklahoma's ever-crucial backcourt, whose play normally dictates the won-loss column for the Sooners, features Omar Leary, Austin Johnson and Tony Crocker in the expected starting lineup.

Leary, who knocked down four first-half 3-pointers against the Razorbacks, comes in averaging 7.4 points and 2.2 assists a game.

Johnson, who plays both the point and shooting guard slots, is averaging 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists, but has averaged over 12 points for the Sooners in their last five games.

Crocker, who is second in the Big XII in 3-point shooting (23-of-46 for .500 average), gives the Sooners 12.1 points and 4.4 boards a contest.

Although this is the first meeting for the two teams, it's not their first rodeo at the All-College Classic.

Oklahoma is, of course, one of the staples of the event, and will be competing in it for the 25th straight year. The Sooners are 50-12 in the All-College and have won 19 championships. They have won 13 of their last 14 in the event, with the loss coming two years ago to West Virginia.

This is the seventh year of the "classic" format as opposed to a tournament format for the All-College. Oklahoma has won six of the seven games since the change.

Gonzaga defeated Oklahoma State in the 2004-05 All-College in its only other appearance.

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