Expected to get at least a nine seed today, did the Oklahoma State basketball program get some disrespect from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.
The Oklahoma State basketball team received the 10 seed today on Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament against the seven seed and Big 10 Tournament Champion Michigan Wolverines. Many expected the Cowboys to get at least a nine seed at the beginning of the day today. Yet, they ended up getting the second-highest 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket.
Furthermore, the Wolverines are no easy test for head coach Brad Underwood and the Pokes in the Round of 64. Very few teams are coming into the NCAA Tournament with as much confidence as UM. Meanwhile, OK State enters the NCAA Tournament with a three-game losing streak.
This year’s bracket seemed to have more differences in seeding than expected compared to past seasons. Just in the Midwest Region alone, the Oregon Ducks and Rhode Island Rams seemed under seeded while teams like the Michigan State Spartans got a higher seed than expected with the nine seed. Yet, it’s hard to ever doubt a Tom Izzo coached Spartans team in March.
For being a seven vs. 10 seed game, the Cowboys and Wolverines do not lack star power. For UM, seniors Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr. are the leaders for the Wolverines. Star OK State sophomore point guard Jawun Evans is also one of the very best in the country.
Yet, it seems like the Cowboys got the short end of the stick with this matchup. At the beginning of the day, ESPN projected UM as a six seed and the Cowboys as a nine seed. Both teams ended up getting seeded lower than projected.
If the Cowboys successfully defeat the Wolverines in the Round of 64 then they likely meet the second-highest rank two seed in the Tournament. The Louisville Cardinals out of the ACC likely waits for the winner of UM and OK State in the Round of 32. L’ville is a hard team to figure out as they have had a hard time staying consistent at some points of the season. However, there’s never an easy game against a two seed.
The obvious answer to me is yes, the Cowboys were disrespected by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.