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NCAA Tournament: How Oklahoma State caught a bad break

COMMENTARY — The Cowboys were almost a No. 4 seed, almost. Oregon was almost a No. 11 seed, almost. The combination creates a tougher-than-deserved first-round matchup for Oklahoma State. A look at that and other thoughts about the NCAA Tournament bracket.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 18, 2013

The NCAA bracket is out. Here's what I know and what I think:

* The Cowboys got a little bad luck on the draw. OSU is the highest-rated No. 5 seed. The committee ranks the entire field, one through 68. OSU was rated No. 17 overall, which means it was one spot from a top-four seed.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys' first-round opponent, Oregon, is a 12-seed in name only. The Ducks were ranked 43rd by the committee, which means Oregon was an actual 11-seed.

The committee sometimes has to move teams up or down a slot, to make other things work out.

The teams the committee voted in the 12-seed range were Boise State, Saint Mary's, Ole Miss, Bucknell, LaSalle and Middle Tennessee. All seem a tad easier than Oregon.

The Ducks won the Pac-12 Tournament and finished a game out first place in the conference race.

* Meanwhile, the Sooners were the lowest-ranked No. 10 seed. OU was one spot from being an 11 seed.

The difference? Not much. OU's first-round foe, San Diego State, seems about the same as No. 6 seeds Memphis, UCLA, Butler and Arizona. The Aztecs are good.

* I thought Miami deserved a No. 1 seed. Won the ACC, won the ACC Tournament. And I'd probably vote to drop Gonzaga to a No. 2, though I'm pulling for the Zags to make the Final Four.

* The Pac-12 was shown less respect than two mid-major conferences. The Pac-12 got five teams into the field, seeded six (UCLA), six (Arizona), 10 (Colorado), 12 (California) and 12 (Oregon).

The Atlantic-10 got five teams, too, but they were seeded four (Saint Louis), five (Virginia Commonwealth), six (Butler), nine (Temple) and 13 (LaSalle). And the Mountain West was considered even better — its five seeds were a three (New Mexico), five (Nevada-Las Vegas), seven (San Diego State), eight (Colorado State) and 13 (Boise State).

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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