May 17, 2005
Anaheim, CA - Four of the nation's premier men's college basketball teams will appear in the 12th annual John R. Wooden Classic on December 10, at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. The UCLA Bruins are the veterans on the court, making their ninth Wooden Classic appearance in total and their third in a row. This year, they will face the Nevada Wolf Pack in Game Two of the doubleheader. This is the first time in Wooden Classic history that the Western Athletic Conference regular season champions have been to Anaheim. It is also the first time the two teams have faced each other since the 1947-48 season; UCLA is 3-0 against Nevada.
New Mexico returns to the Arrowhead Pond this year for their second appearance. In 1997, the Lobos fell to UCLA, 69-58. The Mountain West Conference champions will take on another newcomer, the Washington Huskies, in Game One. The Huskies finished last season with a Pac-10 tournament win and a No. 1 seed into the NCAA tournament.
Tickets for the Wooden Classic will go on sale to the public in October; one ticket allows admission to both games of the afternoon doubleheader. Visit www.woodenclassic.com for more information on the Wooden Classic and the annual golf tournament and banquet benefiting Special Olympics Southern California and Orangewood Children's Foundation.
Living up to the promise of showcasing the best in college basketball, the 2004 Wooden Classic featured the UCLA Bruins against the Boston College Eagles and the Arizona Wildcats against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. All four teams were impressive in the 2004-05 season. Boston College started their season 20-0 after the Eagles defeated the Bruins 74-64 and went on to win the Big East Conference, earning a highest-ever national rank (#3) along the way and No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. UCLA finished the season third in the Pac-10 and made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. After winning the Classic 68-64 over Mississippi State, the Wildcats clenched their 11th conference title and advanced into the Elite Eight before being knocked out. The Bulldogs participated in their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament this past season, advancing for the third time in four years to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Established in 1994, the Wooden Classic is an annual tribute to the legendary former coach and the excellence he personifies. The event, co-produced by Pantheon International, LLC and Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, has a tradition of bringing the nation's finest college programs to Southern California.