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What Oklahoma, Oklahoma State should learn from the Colorado snub

The NCAA Tournament selection committee's snub of Colorado sends a loud and clear message to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State: Beef up your non-conference schedule if you want to return to the Big Dance.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 13, 2011
/articleid/3548581/1/pictures/1381173">Photo - Colorado basketball player Shane Harris-Tunks, right, shows his disappointment while watching the Buffaloes being left out of the NCAA Tournament field. AP photo
Colorado basketball player Shane Harris-Tunks, right, shows his disappointment while watching the Buffaloes being left out of the NCAA Tournament field. AP photo

Marquette's non-conference opponents included Duke and Gonzaga in Kansas City, Mo.; road games at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Vanderbilt; and a home game against Wisconsin. Marquette also played assorted automatic-win home games, but compared to Colorado, a much better schedule.

Another team left out of the NCAAs was Alabama, despite a 12-4 record in the SEC. The Crimson Tide was 21-11 overall, but its non-conference schedule ranked 284th.

Virginia Tech went 9-7 in the ACC and also went 21-11, but the Hokies' non-conference schedule ranked 157th.

I don't know if the selection committee got it all right, but I applaud not being fooled by non-conference wins that were merely exhibitions. In fact, I think it would be good if the committee used overall records minus the automatic wins — don't even consider Bama's games against the likes of Florida A&M, Alabama A&M, Troy and Toledo.

That's the challenge facing Travis Ford and, I assume, Jeff Capel. Don't be tempted to load up on easy games that pad your record but hurt you in the conference room.

This state needs you guys back in the NCAA Tournament, and playing rumdums doesn't cut it. Playing Houston and Auburn in the All-College, which are the expected foes next December, shouldn't be the highlight.

Schedule tough. It will help you at the box office before Christmas and in the NCAA committee room in March.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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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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