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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

Gene Smith is chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Which makes him the most powerful man in college basketball 2011.

Fiery darts come the chairman's way every Selection Sunday. Why certain teams made it, why certain teams didn't. Why certain teams were seeded high; why certain teams were seeded low.

The first question hurled at Smith by CBS' Jim Nantz on Sunday was about Colorado. Why didn't the Buffaloes make the 68-team field?

Alas, powerful sportsmen are like powerful politicians. They never give you a straight answer.

“When we looked at them,” Smith said, “they just didn't quite get the votes to get in.”

Gee, thanks, Gene. Really insightful.

Let me say it for you. Colorado, your non-conference schedule stunk. CU's non-conference schedule ranked 325th out of 345 teams.

Let this be a lesson to OSU and OU, as they seek to return to March Madness next season. Just because the Big 12 schedule stiffens — two extra conference games next season, with traditional lightweights Nebraska and Colorado leaving the league — doesn't mean the Sooners and Cowboys should go soft in November and December.

The other day, Big 12 basketball director John Underwood mentioned that he wants his teams to play beefy schedules, and now we know why.

The committee will make you pay if you don't play a good schedule.

The Buffs loaded up on home games with Idaho State, Alcorn State, Texas-Pan American, The Citadel, Longwood, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Western New Mexico.

CU also played home games against Oregon State and Indiana. You don't get bonus points for playing Obama's brother-in-law or Bobby Knight's ghosts. The Buffs lost road games at Georgia, San Francisco and Harvard. They lost to New Mexico in Las Vegas and won at Cal State-Bakersfield.

For grins, I checked out Marquette, the 11th Big East team to make the field of 68. Marquette, like Colorado, finished .500 in conference. The Buffs were 21-13 overall, Marquette was 20-14.

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by Berry Tramel
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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