Surprise! Oklahoma State, outsider during the Big 12 Tournament, gained a season reprieve in an NCAA Tournament bid. Surprise! Oklahoma, 1-2 during its stay in Bricktown, nabbed one of the eight overall national seeds.
No surprise, Oral Roberts is in again, after winning its conference title for the 12th straight year. There was good news to go around for the state schools Monday, when the NCAA selection committee revealed its 64-team field. The Sooners were already named a regional host Sunday. OSU and ORU are heading on the road: the Cowboys to Clemson; the Golden Eagles to Arizona State. The most significant news might be OU getting the No. 7 national seed. For the Sooners, their road to Omaha is paved through a familiar and friendly path: Mitchell Park. The national seed translates into two weekend’s worth of home games, provided they win this weekend as the favorite. The Norman Regional and Tallahassee Regional are paired for next week’s Super Regional round. "It assures you of the ability to stay at home on the road to Omaha,” said OU coach Sunny Golloway, "but there are no guarantees.” It starts Friday with an old nemesis — Wichita State — in the 7 p.m. first-round pairing at Mitchell Park. OU is the top seed in the regional, with the Shockers No. 4. The 1 p.m. game features No. 2 Arkansas against No. 3 Washington State. OSU is heading for Clemson, S.C., as the No. 3 seed to face No. 2 Alabama. Clemson is the top seed there, with Tennessee Tech the No. 4. The bid for the Cowboys came after they finished ninth in the Big 12 and missed the conference tournament for the first time in 32 years. And it didn’t come without controversy, as OSU’s selection drew the ire of every club that felt snubbed by the committee.