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All-College Tournament enters new dimension

Berry Tramel Published: December 31, 2000

THE All-College Tournament died a glorious death Saturday night.

The tournament of Bill Russell and Pete Maravich and Karl Malone went out the best way it should. Void of players destined for the Hall of Fame, the 2000 All-College offered something better.

Great ball.

Oklahoma beat SMU 79-78 in overtime at the Myriad in a battle of flawed but fascinating teams.

And the All-College is no more, at least not as you've known it since it was played at old Municipal Auditorium, which to my generation is the Civic Center Music Hall and to the kiddos is a building they never go to.

Next year, the All-College goes classic, which is a fancy word for controlled. Basketball is a tournament sport - compare high school state tournaments and the NCAA Tournament to the NBA playoffs, and you'll see what I mean.

Next year, the All-College can save money on hardware. No trophies needed. The schedule will be determined. The Sooners against, hopefully, a big-name program one night; Oklahoma State, hopefully, against a different big-name foe the next. Whole lot of hoping going on.

But it's nobody's fault. That's life in college hoops. High finance. Political posturing for post-season play.

The All-College was living in the past, trying to cling to long-gone glory. A classic gives it a fighting chance.

And if a tournament had to go, this was the way. Super game. Super finish.

The Sooners, who staged a miracle overtime win over Arkansas last weekend, pulled off another Saturday night special.

SMU led by 10 points in the second half, but OU rallied in a fashion that by now should come as no surprise.

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