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Oklahoma basketball: Wild Saturday night leaves Sooners in good shape for NCAA Tournament

Shelby Mast, who does bracket projections for USA Today and updates his projections daily starting Jan. 1 at, moved the Sooners up to a No. 4 seed in his Sunday morning projection.
Oklahoman Published: March 2, 2014

“That was big,” Mast said. “That Texas Tech loss, that surprised me. I was real high on Oklahoma at that point and I had to drop them because that’s a bad loss.

“But then to bounce back with three of four and all of those against top-notch competition, that’s really, really impressive.”

And OU is a team that could do some damage in the tournament.

“There’s probably 10 or 15 teams that could make a nice run to maybe the Elite Eight or Final Four or could lose first round,” Mast said. “I’ve got them in that batch. That’s not a knock. That’s just kind of the nature of the beast this year. There’s a lot of teams in that 12-13-11 rance that are good, good teams.”

Mast, who lives just outside Dallas, got started projecting brackets about a decade ago.

He followed ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, one of the pioneers in bracket projection.

“I got tired of waiting for him to post,” Mast said. “He only posted twice a week. Let me see if I can do this. First year I did it I was significantly more accurate than him.”

He emphasizes that his projections aren’t necessarily what he would do it it was up to him to draw the brackets.

“It’s hard sometimes to not put teams where I think they should go but I try to base it on what I think the committee will do,” Mast said. “Plus, there’s all the bracketing rules.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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