Oklahoma senior Romero Osby might not be aware of this, but his Sooners basketball team could end up a lot like his Mississippi State team.
Oklahoma only has two games left. The Sooners are only one victory away from a 20-win season, yet a bid to the Big Dance is not assured.
Back-to-back losses to West Virginia and TCU could keep Oklahoma from the tournament for a fourth straight year.
Just last year, Osby's former team, Mississippi State, went 21-11 overall and 8-8 in the SEC — and missed the NCAA Tournament. While there is no way the Sooners (10-6, Big 12) can finish .500 in the conference, they can have a resume that looks similar to Mississippi State's. But it would have to include two losses this week.
From Eamonn Brennan on the case against the Bulldogs making the NCAA Tournament last year.
What the committee would say is “We care about the entire body of work. We really do. But we also reserve the right to evaluate a team as it currently is, not as it was earlier in the season, and the bottom line is this: The Bulldogs collapsed down the stretch. MSU lost six of its final eight games, including two games to Georgia, one to LSU and one to Auburn.”
In its final eight games, Oklahoma could lose four. But this final stretch is also the easiest of OU's schedule.
So how could the Sooners make or miss the tournament? Here are some scenarios and key things to know:
SIMILAR RECORDS, SIMILAR ROADS?
Oklahoma's current record is 19-9 overall and 10-6 in the Big 12.
CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm updated his bracket on Friday and had the Sooners placed as a No. 10 seed in the East Region facing No. 7 Oregon.
If OU wins both of its regular season games, it would be 21-9, 12-6.
Last season, teams with similar records struggled to make the tournament or go far.
A 22-15 Butler team, which made it to back-to-back national championship games, was kept from the tournament due to bad losses at the hands of conference teams such as Cleveland State and Green Bay.