Miami's boys have been paired with Wagoner, Springfield (Mo.) Central and Mannford in the Boys' Blue round robin bracket for the 62nd annual Northeastern A&M High School Basketball Tournament.
The tournament, which runs Jan. 25-27, features 52 teams in eight brackets. There's four boys' and four girls' brackets. There are 28 girls' teams and 24 boys' teams entered this year.
There will be three round-robin brackets - two on the boys' side and one in the girls' division.
A byproduct of the smaller number of teams is the fact that only five gymnasiums will be needed for the 66 games.
The NEO Fieldhouse and NEO's Student Activity Center will be the primary venues again.
One championship game, a third-place game and three round-robin games will be played in the NEO Fieldhouse on the final day.
Also on the last day, the SAC will be used for four bracket finals, two round-robin games and one third-place contest
The Civic Center as well as Miami High School and Will Rogers Middle School gyms also will be used. Only 10 games will be played at MHS and the WR gym will host six contests on the first two days of action.
Seven champions return.
“It's like it has been the last five years - you have to come ready to play every night,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “I think it will be good for us because we will see three really good basketball teams. We will see teams we don't normally see. It will be a playoff scenario there where we play three straight nights.”
The Wardogs open the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. clash with Mannford in the NEO Fieldhouse. The Pirates were seventh in the most recent CoachesAid.com rankings.
Miami faces Wagoner in the 7:30 p.m. Friday game, also at the NEO Fieldhouse.
They wrap up round-robin play with a 7:30 p.m. battle with Springfield (Mo.) Central at the Student Activity Center.
“We play in front of a lot of people,” Mercer said. “They put us in that 7:30 game every night and the gym is always full. We always look forward to it.”
Mannford returns to the tournament for the first time since 1972.
Miami's girls are also in the Girls' Blue bracket, facing Roland at 6 p.m. in the Student Activity Center.
Three-time defending champ Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest, Mannford, Tulsa Edison, Wagoner, Tulsa Hale and Tulsa Victory Christian also are in the bracket.
Commerce and Wyandotte are in the two Gold brackets while Fairland, Quapaw, Welch and Afton are in the Red brackets.
Bluejacket has been assigned to the Green brackets.