Selection Sunday, once a virtual Oklahoma holiday, went dormant for awhile. But it’s relative again in Red Dirt Land.
For the second straight year, the Sooners and Cowboys both will be in the NCAA Tournament. That once was an automatic in Oklahoma. But in 2007, 2011 and 2012, neither OU nor OSU made it.
Both made the NCAAs last year and were bounced in the first round. Advancement by both is the goal this year. With that in mind, the assignments, announced beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday, are paramount.
So here are your questions and here are my answers on what the NCAA Tournament bracket has in store for the Bedlam rivals.
Where will OU and OSU be seeded?
The Sooners (23-9) seem headed for a No. 5 or No. 6 seed. A four-seed was possible with at least a victory over Baylor in the Big 12 quarterfinals, but the Bears won 78-73.
The Cowboys (21-12) are likely in the 8-10 range. Playing so well since Marcus Smart returned from a three-game suspension, OSU could have risen even higher but lost to Kansas 77-70 in overtime in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
Where is OSU headed?
How about cold weather? If the Cowboys are seeded eighth or ninth, they would be matched in a four-team pod with a No. 1 seed.
We know who most of the No. 1 seeds are and where they would be placed. Arizona in San Diego. Florida in Orlando. Wichita State in St. Louis. And either Villanova in Buffalo, Michigan in Milwaukee or the Duke-Virginia winner in Raleigh, N.C.
If the Cowboys are seeded 10th, they would be paired with a No. 2 seed. The likely No. 2 seeds and their destinations are Louisville or Kansas in St. Louis, Michigan and/or Wisconsin in Milwaukee and possibly Villanova in Buffalo or the Duke-Virginia winner in Raleigh
OSU won’t be bracketed with Kansas. So while San Diego, Orlando and Raleigh are possibilities, there’s a double chance that the Cowboys could be going to Milwaukee or Buffalo.
Where is OU headed?
The opposite of OSU. Odds are that the Sooners will land away from a pod involving a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
As a 4-5-6 seed, the Sooners will not be in a pod with a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. That means one of the sites with a No. 1 or No. 2 seed will have half the availability.
It seems unlikely, too, that the Sooners would land in San Antonio. If the Sooners had risen to a No. 4 seed, they could have been a likely choice for San Antonio, which is considered to be geographically friendly to OU. The NCAA basketball committee tries to geographically protect top-four seeds. But if the Sooners are below No. 4, they most likely will be sent elsewhere.
Could the Woodard brothers face each other?
Tulsa, with sophomore James Woodard leading the way, won the Conference USA championship game Saturday to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners’ point guard is freshman Jordan Woodard.
In 1987, OU and Tulsa played in the NCAA first round at Tucson, Ariz. But to stage a rematch, TU will have to be given a No. 12 seed, with OU given a five. Tulsa seems likely to be a 13-seed, while the Sooners could be a five or six. If they are seeded fifth and 12th, there’s a 25 percent chance of meeting. So it looks like the odds are about 10-to-1.
Could OSU face Memphis again?
The Cowboys and Tigers have played twice already, with OSU memorably routing Memphis in Stillwater back in November, and Memphis exacting revenge a couple of weeks later in an Orlando tournament.
Memphis looks to be a 7-8-9 seed. So an OSU-Memphis game could be staged as a 7-10 or 8-9 matchup. The NCAA committee tries to avoid regular-season rematches, but how about rubber matches? Maybe the committee decides to let them settle it on the court.
Could Lon Kruger or Travis Ford face one of their previous schools?
Well, Kruger’s alma mater is Kansas State, so the Sooners would have to go deep to face a Big 12 brother. Illinois, Nevada-Las Vegas and Texas-Pan American won’t make the field. So that leaves Florida. The Sooners as a No. 5 seed could be matched against the Gators in a possible Sweet-16 game.
Ford’s alma mater is Kentucky, and an OSU-UK game as a 10-7 matchup certainly is possible. Ford also has been head coach at Eastern Kentucky and Massachusetts. Eastern Kentucky is a likely No. 15 seed, so even if the Colonels are bracketed with OSU, they would have to spring a major upset to reach the regional quarterfinals. But UMass? That’s possible. The Minutemen are likely in the 7-10 range themselves. That’s right in OSU’s wheelhouse for a first-round matchup.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.