The University of Minnesota men's basketball team will meet Oklahoma State in a nonconference neutral-site matchup this winter, the Gophers announced on Friday.

The game, played on Saturday, Dec. 12 will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Cowboys finished last season with an 18-14 record overall and an 8-10 mark in the Big 12 -- considered one of basketball's best conferences last year -- and lost to Oregon, 79-73 in the NCAA tournament round of 64. 

"Travis Ford has done an unbelievable job with Oklahoma State, year in and year out," Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said in a release. "We believe playing one of the top programs in the Big 12 will certainly get us ready for our conference schedule."

Pitino has repeatedly said this offseason he was hoping to add some more muscle to the Gophers pre-Big Ten slate. Last year, the Gophers opened the season with then No. 8 Louisville in Puerto Rico and then played St. John's and Georgia in the NIT Season Tipoff followed by a road trip to Wake Forest. But Minnesota played only one top-200 (kenpom.com) team the rest of the non-conference slate.

"I thought where I made a mistake last year is ...I don’t think we learned a whole lot in December about where we stood," Pitino said in April. "And then I think those first two weeks in January, I think it took a lot out of everybody, and I think that’s my fault in not challenging them with a good game late in December."

Pitino has talked about adding a home-and-home series this year as well, which could still happen. The Gophers' full nonconference schedule will be released later this summer.

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