Welcome back to the NCAA Tournament, Cowboys and Sooners.
It's been two long years since Oklahoma State made the field and three longer years since Oklahoma did. But on Sunday, we learned that both of you survived the selection process, impressing the judges and moving on to the big show.
So, you think you can dance?
Now that you're in, Cowboys and Sooners, are you going to stick around awhile?
Not to get greedy or anything, but it seems like it's been so long since either team made the tournament that it'd be a bummer if both were out before next weekend. We want to see you dance for awhile.
There's never been a better year to do it.
No team in this dance has a perfect routine. Each and every team in the tournament has flaws, including the No. 1 seeds. Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga occupy those top spots, but three of the four have at least five losses. None has been a dominator.
Gone are the days of John Wooden at UCLA and Patrick Ewing at Georgetown and all those players everyone loved to hate at Duke. Heck, even the supremacy of Kentucky last season seems long ago and far away.
Can anybody really dance anymore?
That question begs another — why couldn't the Cowboys or the Sooners dance for awhile?
OSU has a dance card that is manageable.
As the No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region, the Cowboys open against Oregon. The Ducks weren't seen by bracketologists as a bubble team, but they got a bubble seed. Even though the Ducks notched regular-season wins against UCLA and Arizona, then won the Pac-12 Tournament, they did lose eight games. That included losses to fellow tournament teams Cincinnati, Colorado (twice) and California (twice), but it also included clunkers against UTEP and Stanford.
Beat Oregon, and St. Louis likely awaits OSU.
“No one on our team is a quitter,” Cowboy big man Michael Cobbins said. “Everybody is a competitor. No one likes to lose. No one wants to get embarrassed on TV. So, we go out and play our hearts out.”
Why couldn't the Cowboys dance into the Sweet 16?