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NCAA Chances: ORU, TU, OSU & OU

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Basketball season is in its final days. I had my thoughts on how things would shake out before the year tipped off, but after seeing three months of games, has my opinion changed?

In a word, yes. At least, it's changed a little. I'm still high on ORU. I like Tulsa, too. Can either OSU or Oklahoma make a splash in the conference tournament? Here are my tournament predictions:

ORAL ROBERTS Golden Eagles (22-5, 14-1)

I liked the Golden Eagles' chances at making the NCAA tournament before the year began. Now, I LOVE them. Don't get caught up in that loss to SDSU last week. ORU had an off night. It WILL be tough to get into the winner's circle in the Jackrabbits' home state, but ORU has the shooters to pull it off.

I know there is a lot of debate over who is the top player in the Summit League. I'd give the nod to Dominique Morrison because of the way he's led his team to the best record in the conference. Alex Young is GREAT. He dropped 34 against ORU on Thursday night. I still like DoMo better.

Will they WIN the Summit League tournament? Probably. Will they make the NCAA tournament?

I hope so. They haven't been since 2008. They will have to do very well in the tournament to get in. It will help a lot if they can beat USM and Memphis in the regular season before the tourney begins. Odds are, they have to win the league in the March tourney.

PERCENTAGE CHANCE THEY MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: 65%


TULSA Golden Hurricane (14-10, 7-3)

I liked Tulsa's chances at making the tournament before the year began and I still do. The combination of fabulous guard play from Jordan Clarkson (16 ppg) and improved interior toughness with Kodi Maduka and D.J. Magley makes them a contender.

Much like ORU, TU will have to deal with playing the conference tournament in the home state of the league favorite. Memphis has won the CUSA tournament in five of the past six seasons. The only year they didn't win it was the year it was played in Tulsa. TU SHOULD have won that tournament but underachieved with Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan.

They haven't made the NCAA tournament since 2003. TU won seven straight conference games before losing at UTEP yesterday. They COULD, and I say SHOULD, be 9-1 in the league. This could be Tulsa's year. We will know A LOT more about Tulsa after this Wednesday's game at Southern Miss (20-4, 7-2).

PERCENTAGE CHANCE THEY MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: 50%


OKLAHOMA STATE Cowboys (12-12, 5-6)

Hi, Dr. Jekyll. Hey there, Mr. Hyde. Both of them play for Oklahoma State. Actually, Travis Ford would probably like to have an extra two guys on the bench because OSU is depleted. They have lost multiple players to injuries and a few to transfers. Cezar Guerrero missed a game because of a suspension.

It's hard to judge OSU against what I thought of them before the year began because they are a TOTALLY different team. I do like the way that freshman Le'Bryan Nash has picked up the college game. He struggled A LOT in the beginning of his career. The speed of the game looked like it was too much to handle. Now, he's getting better. (See Iowa State game at home).

I like that Keiton Page is playing many different roles and doing well in all of them. He has had big time scoring efforts. He's also played the role of distributer. He's the reason OSU will have ANY shot in the tournament.

Markel Brown has become a major factor in the games. He's scoring more than he did early on and is making highlight-reel dunks nearly every night.

But, OSU can't hang with the big boys in the Big 12. Even if they beat one of the top three teams (Kansas, Baylor and Missouri), there is no way they can beat two or three of them in the league tournament. Right?

PERCENTAGE CHANCE THEY MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: 15%

 

OKLAHOMA Sooners (13-10, 3-8)

The first season with Lon Kruger as the head coach was fool's gold. I knew it the first month of the year when they started 10-2. They played Meatloaf College and Bow Tie University in those cake walk games. Once they started playing the tough teams, they've struggled BIG TIME.

They are 3-8 in the league. They have beaten Kansas State twice. That was a shocker to me. They got dump trucked in Stillwater by an average OSU team and lost to Kansas by a billion (or so). The roster left much to be desired for Kruger. Granted, they had a shot at beating Mizzou at home. So there have been some bright spots.

Overall, I don't have a lot of high expectations for the Sooners in the league tournament. They have one great scorer in Steven Pledger, but I'd be shocked if they made it out of the first round. They just don't have the horses.

PERCENTAGE CHANCE THEY MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: 5%

 

TOURNAMENTS:

Summit League

March 3-6, Sioux Falls, SD

 

C-USA

March 7-10, Memphis, TN

 

Big 12

March 7-10, Kansas City, MO

Live Radar

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