Inside the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University, 16 high school basketball teams are battling to claim bragging rights as the winner of the 52nd annual Tournament of Champions.
Organized by Tulsa Public Schools, many regard the Tournament of Champions as the premiere basketball tournament in the state of Oklahoma, next to only the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association playoff tournament.
Assistant Athletic Director of TPS and tournament organizer, Mick Wilson, says the bracket is created in a way to allow small schools to compete against large schools and gain experience against quality opponents.
"The tournament was kind of founded on the David and Goliath theory in the first round. We always try to pair teams with great records, teams that have made a deep run in the state tournament during the previous year," Wilson said.
Each bracket, men's and women's, includes eight teams playing within a single elimination style over the course of a three night period.
Depending on the school, hundreds of fans travel to support their athletes and Wilson says high attendance helps boost a struggling TPS budget.
"We want to make this a great experience for the kids and on top of that this is something the proceeds from this tournament really help us fund our athletic program at Tulsa Public Schools. It's a kid win situation all the way around," Wilson said
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