OK Teams Hope To Make NCAA Tournament

Saturday, March 7th 2009, 2:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Kyle Dierking, NewsOn6.com

UNDATED -- All four in-state basketball schools are making the post-season push. So who has a shot at the NCAA Tournament?

RECORD: 16-14
RPI: 85

THEIR CHANCES: ORU has four straight conference titles and three consecutive trips to the big dance. This year, they're only two games above .500. ORU even had a chance to take a share of the Summit League title until a home loss to North Dakota State in the regular season finale. For the first time in four years, the conference tournament won't be in Tulsa. So if the Golden Eagles want a bid to the big show, they'll have to win three games in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

COACH SCOTT SUTTON SAYS: "It may be the most disappointing loss we've had since we got be by Oakland four years ago in the conference tournament finals. There's no do-overs and you can't dwell on it."

RECORD: 21-9
RPI: 55
THEIR CHANCES: TU is no stranger to post-season success. The Golden Hurricane has been to the NCAA's eight times in the last 13 years, but is in the midst of a five year drought from the big dance. Tulsa already has its third straight 20-win season and its RPI is in the mid-50's. Though, failure to win the big games could hurt the Hurricane. After losing to conference foe Memphis by one at home earlier this season, the Tigers trounced TU by 26 in mid-February. Another strong run in the Conference USA Championship will have the tournament committee taking notice. More than likely Tulsa will have to again get through Memphis on their home court to get an NCAA bid.

COACH DOUG WOJCIK SAYS: "The question is, do we get penalized for that loss (to Memphis) more than Missouri will get penalized for their loss to Kansas. That's the misnomer in that room and the unfair shake. And then there's the one-point loss to Central Florida at the buzzer, so we'll see..." 

RECORD: 20-9
RPI: 33
THEIR CHANCES: Oklahoma State may be the hottest team in the Big 12 heading into post-season play. Since a 25-point loss to Texas on February 10th, the Cowboys have reeled off key home wins against Baylor, the Longhorns and Kansas State. The Pokes have played one of the toughest schedules in the country and bracketologists have them pegged as an eight or nine seed. Lately, OSU has been synonymous with NIT, getting bounced in the first round each of the last three seasons. For seniors Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris, it appears they'll get their first taste of the NCAA Tournament.

COACH TRAVIS FORD SAYS: "We've won 20 games, we have a winning record in conference, our RPI is extremely low, our strength of schedule is one of the best in America."

RECORD: 26-4
RPI: 15

THEIR CHANCES: Two weeks ago, it seemed the Sooners had secured a Big 12 title and a coveted number one seed for the NCAA's. What a difference a few days make. OU has dropped key games to Texas, Kansas and Missouri. For now, a number one seed is still intact, according to those bracketologists. The Sooners can make a big splash in their backyard with a good performance in the Big 12 Tournament.

COACH JEFF CAPEL SAYS: "It's not Blake (Griffin) and the Sooners, it's Oklahoma," said Capel following a February 21st loss at Texas. "We didn't prove anything to ourselves -- we lost. There's no moral victories in our program."

RPI Rankings are according to KenPom.com

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