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Sooners vs. Cowboys during NCAA Tournament would be biggest Bedlam of them all

It happened once before — 75 years ago in Municipal Auditorium in downtown Oklahoma City. It’s time for an encore.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 16, 2014

To beat Arizona, OSU will need the kind of performance that routed Memphis in November and took Kansas to the wire at Allen Fieldhouse in January.

Not likely, but possible.

Which could produce a Bedlam Sweet 16.

All thanks to a new bracket policy by the NCAA committee. Until this year, conference members were kept apart until at least the regional finals.

But with the expansion of conferences, that became more difficult for the bracket. Committee members in recent years have changed teams’ seeds to avoid conference matchups.

Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman, chairman of the committee, said he heard from coaches that they would rather have earlier conference matchups than changing seeds.

So the policy was changed. If conference foes played three times in the season, they could not meet until the regional finals. If they met only twice, they could meet in the Sweet 16. If they met only once, they could meet in the round of 32.

Wellman said the policy worked great. He said no teams’ seeds were adjusted to avoid conference rematches.

So the policy exists for Sweet 16 games of UCLA-Colorado, Wisconsin-Nebraska, Michigan-Iowa, Cincinnati-Memphis and Providence-Villanova. Conference games all.

Plus Bedlam.

OU and OSU have been playing together in Big Eight and Big 12 tournaments since December 1958 and have never met in a championship game.

In 2003, the Sooners and Cowboys both were in the East Regional. OU eventually made the East finals, where the Sooners ran into Carmelo and Syracuse. The Orangemen had overcome a 17-point deficit to knock off OSU in the East quarterfinals.

Bedlam averted. Here’s hoping it transpires this time, on the 75-year anniversary of the biggest Bedlam of them all.

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.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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