NORMAN, Okla. – National sports analysts are questioning the NCAA’s decision to send the Sooners to the NCAA Tournament, while leaving Oklahoma State at home.
The University of Oklahoma’s men’s basketball team was selected by the NCAA Tournament’s committee as a #10 seed in the Midwest Region.
"Very emotional, very tense. I mean, I wanted to play in this tournament so bad. This is something I dreamed about as a kid and I just had a bunch of emotions running through my body, so I couldn't do anything but just sit there and pray," said OU star Trae Young.
However, Oklahoma State was left out of the tournament mix.
"I understood how their minds and hearts may be hurt, how they probably are disappointed. I think they should feel that way. They played well enough to be represented on that stage today and to feel like that could have given them a little bit of validation for their work that they put in in the season. It wasn't the case and we still have more basketball to play," said OSU head coach Mike Boynton.
The decision was not accepted as easily by everyone.
Oklahoma started the season strong, winning 14 of its first 16 games. But OU ended up losing 11 of its final 15 games.
While committee members say OSU's weak schedule played a big role in their decision, some analysts aren't buying it.
ESPN's Dick Vitale says he doesn't understand the decision.
"I see no logic. They can give me all the talk they want about early, how they did early 14-2. There is no way in the world that Oklahoma State, if Oklahoma's in, Oklahoma State had to be in the tournament. I think it's a disgrace, I think it's an embarrassment and it's a humiliation for what this tournament's about. To tell you the truth, it frustrates the hell out of me," Vitale said.
OU will play the #7 seed Rhode Island in the first round on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
If the Sooners win that game, they will play Saturday against the winner of the Duke-Iona game.
Oklahoma State was not selected, and the Cowboys will play in the National Invitation Tournament.
OSU is a #2 seed in the NIT and will host Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday at 8:00 pm at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.
If the Cowboys win that game, they will play the winner of Stanford vs. Brigham Young in the second round.