By Bill Oliver
Commerce, TX –
When the basketball teams at Texas A&M University-Commerce qualify for the Lone Star Conference post-season tournament the next three years, the Lions will be going to Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
The conference considered Bartlesville and three other cities, which were not identified, to be the neutral site for the first time for men since 1975 and for women since 1983. Bartlesville, north of Tulsa, is farther north than the northernmost conference teams. It's 271 miles from Commerce. That is still less than the 400 miles to Canyon, where the Lions women played for the tournament title in March.
Tournament games will be played at the new Bartlesville High School Field House; a $5.5 million dollar facility that seats just over 22 hundred. Scheduled for the first week in March, the top eight men's and women's teams will be competing. The winners will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Division II national tournaments.