March 18, 2010

Time to Dance! Looking at OSU's draw

For a second straight year, Oklahoma State is dancing in the NCAA Tournament.

That's no small accomplishment for Travis Ford, who walked into Gallagher-Iba Arena two years ago to find a once-proud program fallen on the hard times of three-straight losses in the first round of the NIT.

Seems like forever ago now, doesn't it?

Tomorrow, the No. 7 seed Cowboys take on 10th seed Georgia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It's one of those "coin flip" games, as the 7/10 and 8/9 match-ups typically are. If OSU were to lose, it wouldn't be a big upset or anything, especially after the nice run the Yellow Jackets had in the ACC Tournament last week.

But, in looking at the bracket, I believe OSU got a pretty solid draw.

There's no doubt that OSU was thrown into the toughest of the four brackets, but a 7 seed isn't going to get many favors anyway. Even so, the Pokes were given a first-round match-up against a team that was very inconsistent this season and was largely a disappointment. While they have size and a couple of very good players on their squad, OSU knows it has beaten tougher opponents this season - both at home and on the road.

OSU, if it wins tomorrow, was also done another favor. Their second round match-up against 2 seed Ohio State isn't a second round match-up against, say, 2 seed Villanova or 2 seed West Virginia, teams I believe are much better than the Buckeyes. They do feature playmaker Evan Turner, but OSU has James Anderson. What a show that could be, huh?

It's silly to look at possible opponents past this weekend. OSU's team is likely a "one and done" type of team, with the absolute ceiling at making the Sweet 16. With that in mind, OSU is such a dangerous team shooting from outside that a run to the Elite Eight isn't out of the question - if the Pokes shoot out-of-their-minds-hot for two straight weekends. Is that possible? Doubtful. Georgetown would likely end OSU's season anyway, but it is fun to think about just how far OSU could go.

What did I put in my bracket? OSU over Georgia Tech, then Ohio State over the Pokes.

This weekend could be very interesting for the Cowboys. Enjoy all the hoops over the next four days.

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