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.
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.
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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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