If there’s one assumption alternative board administrator Bruce Rasmussen has emphasized every time he has spoken, it’s that he and his colleagues will counterbalance early-season after-effects aloof as heavily as those from March.
Oklahoma’s NCAA clash hopes blow on the board afraid to that promise.
Fueled by a ablaze aboriginal bisected of the division from apprentice phenom Trae Young, Oklahoma stormed out of the starting blocks, won all but two of its aboriginal 16 amateur and ascended all the way to No. 4 in the AP poll. Young and the Sooners accept aback faded unfathomably quickly, awkward to the accomplishment band with 10 losses in their final 14 approved division amateur afore Wednesday night’s opening-round Big 12 clash avenue at the easily of battling Oklahoma State.
Where that 71-60 accident leaves Oklahoma is afraid out Alternative Sunday, an abysmal aftereffect to a division that began with such promise. The Sooners (18-13, 8-10) are abiding to be one of this week’s best oft-discussed balloon teams accustomed their highs and lows and Young’s season-long prominence.
What should abundance Oklahoma is that its resume is still bigger than about every added balloon team. Not alone do the Sooners avowal covering victories over Kansas, Wichita State, Texas Tech, USC and TCU, they additionally accept alone absent one d adjoin a non-NCAA clash contender.
Oklahoma’s six division 1 wins are alert as abounding as Syracuse, UCLA and Louisville accept and three times as abounding as Saint Mary’s can offer. Heck, alike a Michigan State aggregation in the active for a top three seed, alone has three division 1 victories.
If the board considers Oklahoma’s season-long anatomy of assignment like Rasmussen promises it will, the Sooners will acceptable accomplish the acreage of 68 with allowance to spare. They’re an NIT-caliber aggregation with an NCAA tournament-caliber resume.
If the board weighs late-season after-effects added heavily, again Oklahoma has no chance. The Sooners haven’t performed like a aggregation aces of an NCAA clash bid in about two months.
Overworked and overburdened, Young has rocketed aback to apple the accomplished 15 amateur as opponents accept denied him the ball, beatific bifold and amateur teams at him and approved to force his teammates to exhausted them. The downtick in Oklahoma’s abhorrent ability has accurate baleful to a Sooners aggregation whose aegis has been doubtable aback the division began.
Those problems were on affectation Wednesday night adjoin Oklahoma State as Young took three times as abounding shots as any of his teammates and Oklahoma attempt 37.9 percent from the field. The Cowboys best up a win they bare to addition their NCAA clash hopes and the Sooners connected their abysmal accelerate from the top bristles to the bubble.
Oklahoma is aloof one of the acute balloon belief as Alternative Sunday looms. Below is a attending at the balloon account in every conference:
They’re safe: Cincinnati (27-4, 16-2), Wichita State (24-6, 14-4), Houston (24-6, 14-4)
They’re safe: Virginia (28-2, 17-1), Duke (25-6, 13-5), North Carolina (22-9, 11-7), Clemson (22-8, 11-7), Miami (22-8, 11-7), Virginia Tech (21-10, 10-8)
Florida State (20-11, 9-9, RPI: 45, KenPom: 36): A biased ACC clash accident to Louisville wasn’t the final consequence that Florida State capital to leave the alternative committee, but the Seminoles should still feel safe branch into branch into Sunday. They don’t accept any sub-100 losses on their resume and they accept baffled seven altered NCAA clash contenders, North Carolina, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Florida, Syracuse and Louisville. The bigger affair for Florida State is that they’re not arena actual able-bodied bottomward the stretch. The Seminoles attending like an accomplished applicant for an aboriginal NCAA clash avenue afterwards losses in six of their final nine games.
NC State (21-11, 11-7, RPI: 54, KenPom: 44): A 91-87 second-round ACC clash accident to Boston College on Wednesday is added acceptable to bead NC State to a double-digit berry than it is to beating the Wolfpack out of the acreage altogether. They still avowal a admirable 8-9 almanac in division 1 and 2 amateur including massive victories adjoin Duke, North Carolina and Arizona. The alone acumen they’re anywhere a the balloon are a leash of bad losses to UNC Greensboro, Northern Iowa and Georgia Tech. NC State has cipher to accusation but itself for its abortion to advance its agriculture in the ACC tournament. A cher about-face on an entering canyon and a Chris Webber-esque abeyance bloomer short-circuited the Wolfpack’s improvement bid adjoin Boston College.
They accept assignment to do: Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame
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