Two Big 12 teams help headline event

AUSTIN, Texas -- Four teams that at least reached the Sweet 16 of last season's NCAA Tournament will compete in the 2004 State Farm Women's Basketball Tip-Off Classic, the annual early-season doubleheader televised by ESPN, on Nov. 14 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Host Texas will square off against Penn State, while LSU and Baylor meet in the other game of the event, now in its 12th year. The games will be televised on ESPN2, and the times are set for 1:30 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET, although it has not yet been determined which teams are in what time slot.

The Longhorns are making their second consecutive Tip-Off Classic showing. At Purdue last Nov. 16, the then-No. 3 Longhorns stopped No. 2 Duke 85-77. Texas went on to finish the season with a 30-5 mark, and the No. 2 seed reached the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season. Texas was ranked 10th in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll last season.

Penn State, a No. 1 seed last season, reached the Elite Eight before falling to eventual NCAA champion UConn. The Lady Lions went 28-6 a year ago, finishing the year ranked No. 6 in the final coaches poll.

LSU advanced to the Final Four for the first time in program history in 2004 under the direction of interim head coach Pokey Chatman, who is now LSU's head coach. The Lady Tigers, who defeated Texas in the Sweet 16, finished the year with a 27-8 mark and the No. 3 ranking nationally.

Baylor went 26-9 with a Sweet 16 showing in 2004. The Lady Bears ended the year ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Proceeds from the State Farm Women's Tip-Off Classic benefit the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Both Texas coach Jody Conradt and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson are enshrined in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Texas and PSU will be meeting for the third time in the last four seasons, with Penn State winning last year's contest (79-59) at PSU.

"The Tip-Off Classic is a tremendous way to begin the season and we are privileged to host this great day of women's basketball and showcase our game and our arena to a national television audience," Conradt said. "Traditionally, the Tip-Off Classic brings four of the top teams in the nation together, and we are honored to be invited to the Classic for the second consecutive year.

"This should prove to be a tremendous doubleheader, one that I am certain our fans will embrace. It will be a terrific way to officially open the 2004-05 season."