TU Team, Fans Pleased With Surprise Invite To NCAA Tournament


Monday, March 14th 2016, 6:26 pm
By: Tess Maune


The University of Tulsa men's basketball team is Big Dance Bound. The team just left for the NCAA Tournament.

The invitation to play in the tournament came as a big surprise to everybody, including the team.

The TU basketball team is loaded up and ready to head to Dayton, Ohio to play in the NCAA Tournament.

The Golden Hurricane was the last team picked on ‘Selection Sunday.’ It’s an invitation the players and coaches were not expecting – although there was still anticipation and the hope the team’s name would be called.

“For us to get another chance at this is truly a blessing for us, and we're very excited,” said TU guard, James Woodard.

The Midday Show crew – Pat Jones and Bruce Haertl - over at the Sports Animal in Tulsa was floored by the announcement, along with everyone else.

Tess: “Were y'all surprised to hear about TU?
Jones: “Oh Lord.”
Haertl: “Who wasn't? Tulsa was surprised to hear about TU.”
Jones: “I thought it was a misprint at first.”

TU has a 20-11 record this season. They're an 11 seed and they'll be taking on 22-12 Michigan Wednesday night.

“It's not that I don't think they're good enough to play in it...I just didn't think The American would get that much respect,” one caller into the Sports Animal said.

Fans called into the show, hopeful the experts would tell them what they want to hear.

Caller: “How do you think we'd match up with these guys?”
Haertl: “Michigan is gonna be bigger and they're gonna be more physical than Tulsa...If Tulsa can knock down some shots, and do some things like that, there's no a reason they can't win a game like this.”

And if they don't win, getting the surprise chance to play one more game is good enough.

“Hey, it doesn't matter, we're in there,” one caller said.