Good draw for OU basketball — for awhile
Analyzing the NCAA bracket:
Oklahoma: The Sooners received an excellent draw. Playing in Kansas City and Memphis is as good as OU could have asked for. 350 miles to KC, 500 miles to Memphis.
As for the No. 2 seed, OU could have fallen to a No. 3 and had few arguments, though the committee got it right. OU turned out to be the overall No. 6 seed in effect.
The Sooners have an excellent second-round draw. Michigan or Clemson. Here’s a good way to judge that. Check out the other 7-10 matchups: Cal-Maryland, Texas-Minnesota, Boston College-USC. Off that list, playing Clemson is about as good as playing anyone else. Maryland, Boston College. Just a bunch of teams OU ought to be able to beat.
Now, once OU gets to Memphis, it’s a whole different story. Syracuse could be waiting, and the Orange is a load. Syracuse is playing well, it has that danged 2-3 zone, a bunch of ballplayers. Tough, tough, tough. And then North Carolina. The No. 3 seeds come down to a Big 12 duo (KU, Mizzou) vs. a Big East duo (Syracuse, Villanova). I say the Big East duo is better.
Oklahoma State: Well, the Cowboys could have used a slight break. I think they were in the 7-8 seed range and fell on the wrong side of that one. You’d much rather be a 7 than an 8, because an 8 means a second-round game against a No. 1.
But first things first. OSU-Tennessee is a good first-round game. I think the Vols are one of the better 9 seeds. Texas A&M was a 9 seed, so OSU wasn’t getting the Aggies. That means the other options were Siena or Butler. You don’t want any part of Butler, but OSU already has beaten Siena on a neutral court, back when the Cowboys weren’t any good. I would say Tennessee falls in the middle, so again, that’s all you can ask for.
Did OSU deserve to be a 7? Check out the 7′s: Texas, Clemson, Boston College and California. OSU’s only real beef might be with Cal, but again, we’re splitting hairs, really, with everyone between 5 and 8 or 9.
Geographically, OSU did OK. Dayton is about as close as anything other than Kansas City, where the Cowboys most certainly weren’t going. You can drive to Dayton if you want to. I wouldn’t want to, but you can. After that, it’s Boston, where the Cowboys have some history (that 2003 loss to Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony), but again, much to do before you get to Boston.
Can OSU beat Pitt? Not likely. The Panthers are one of those teams that will snap teams in two just for the heck of it. On the other hand, OSU is overpowered by most teams anyway, so what difference does it make if the Cowboys play a bunch of ruffians or not? Most everyone has a big interior edge on OSU.
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