KANSAS CITY, Mo. —
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports Jerry Palm both had the Sooners as a No. 11 seed Friday afternoon. Neither has any influence with the NCAA Tournament selection committee, but they are considered the most accurate when it comes to forecasting the field.
OU coach Lon Kruger did a little lobbying Thursday.
“We played good basketball. We made good progress. Don’t have anything that we can affect it with at this point,” he said. “Like the progress they made, like the play that they’ve turned out. Obviously, a lot of it depends on upsets and other games. But I’d like to think this group deserves an opportunity.”
It doesn’t hurt that OU athletic director Joe Castiglione is on the NCAA Tournament selection committee. He’ll have to leave the room when the Sooners are the topic, but his presence won’t hurt their chances.
All signs point toward OU getting a chance, but it still means waiting through two more agonizing days before the field of 68 and the bracket are announced.
The Sooners will spend that time preparing to play. Even if the historical qualifications they’ve met are shunned by the selection committee, OU will get an NIT bid.
For a program that did exit interviews a few days after the Big 12 tournament the previous three seasons, knowing there’s still at least one more game to play is important.
“I think we did enough to be able to be in,” OU guard Sam Grooms said. “But at the end of the day the committee makes that decision. And we did good enough to play in some kind of post season tournament and we gotta get back to work and prepare for whatever lies ahead.”
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