Pete Newell Challenge Tickets on Sale Now; Stanford-Gonzaga; Kansas-California

Oct. 23, 2002

Oakland, Ca - Tickets for the sixth annual Pete Newell Challenge, set for Saturday, Dec. 28, at The Arena in Oakland, are now on sale, at all Tickets.com outlets and the arena box office. This year's doubleheader includes two top matchups: Kansas vs California at 12:30 p.m., and Gonzaga vs Stanford at 2:30 p.m.

All four schools are coming off outstanding seasons that included appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Stanford chalked up a 20-10 record last year, finished second in the in the Pac-10 Conference, and reached the NCAA Tournament a school-record eighth straight time. Gonzaga has appeared in post-season play eight of the last nine years, including five trips to the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga returns three starters from a 2001-02 team (29-4) that finished sixth in the final Associated Press rankings, the highest ranking in school history.

Kansas reached the Final Four for the third time in Coach Roy Williams' 14 seasons, before losing to eventual national champion Maryland, 97-88, in a semifinal game. Under Williams, Kansas has now played in 13 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, and has chalked up 13 straight 20-win seasons. California will be a veteran team that consists of three seniors and three juniors that have all experienced postseason play.

In two of the past four years, the Pete Newell Challenge has attracted the largest crowd in California college basketball history to The Arena in Oakland. On Dec. 21, 2000, a record crowd of 19,804 watched Stanford knock off top-ranked Duke, 84-83, on Casey Jacobsen's jumper with 3.6 seconds to play. Cal beat Georgia Tech in the second game, 85-64.

Two years earlier, on Dec. 29, 1998, a then-record crowd of 19,657 saw Cal beat North Carolina, 78-71, and Stanford defeated Temple, 57-50.

For more ticket information, call Tickets.com at (415) 478-2277, (510) 762-2277, (408) 998-2277, (650) 478-2277, (925) 762-2277 or (916) 766-2277. Outside California, dial toll-free (800) 225-2277. For directions to the arena, call (510) 569-2121. The arena box office is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.

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