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NCAA Tournament’s 1-68 Seeding Makes OSU Snub Even More Baffling

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Oklahoma State’s exclusion from the field of 68 NCAA Tournament teams on Sunday evening was almost expected, given its metrics and how we all anticipated the committee might view its non-conference strength of schedule numbers.

But the wound of the Cowboys’ snub was jarred open with salt by the fact that, according to the committee, they weren’t even among the last four out of the field. Baylor, Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Southern Cal was.

Wait, what?

Yes, so that means Oklahoma State — a team that boasted more quality wins than multiple teams that even made the field! — wasn’t even among the 72 best teams in the committee’s eyes.

Just for a little eyeball proof, here’s OSU’s resume stacked up against the last four out.

OSU

Quad 1: 5-12

Quad 2: 3-2

Baylor

Quad 1: 4-12

Quad 2: 3-1

Notre Dame

Quad 1: 2-9

Quad 2: 5-2

Saint Mary’s

Quad 1: 2-1

Quad 2: 2-2

USC

Quad 1: 4-6

Quad 2: 5-4

And here’s another stunner: Oklahoma was comfortably in the field. The committee released its official 1-68 seeding list, and the Sooners were No. 40 overall, making them the last team that made it before the last four in and debunking a hilariously wrong Twitter rumor on Sunday.

1. Virginia (31-2)
2. Villanova (30-4)
3. Kansas (27-7)
4. Xavier (28-5)
5. North Carolina (25-10)
6. Duke (26-7)
7. Purdue (28-6)
8. Cincinnati (30-4)
9. Michigan State (29-4)
10. Tennessee (25-8)
11. Michigan (28-7)
12. Texas Tech (24-9)
13. Auburn (25-7)
14. Wichita Sate (25-7)
15. Gonzaga (30-4)
16. Arizona (27-7)
17. Kentucky (24-10)
18. West Virginia (24-10)
19. Clemson (23-9)
20. Ohio State (24-8)
21. Florida (20-12)
22. Miami (Fla.) (22-9)
23. Houston (26-7)
24. TCU (21-11)
25. Texas A&M (20-12)
26. Arkansas (23-11)
27. Nevada (27-7)
28. Rhode Island (25-7)
29. Seton Hall (21-11)
30. Creighton (21-11)
31. Virginia Tech (21-11)
32. Missouri (20-12)
33. Butler (20-13)
34. Kansas State (22-11)
35. Providence (21-13)
36. Alabama (19-15)
37. NC State (21-11)
38. Florida State (20-11)
39. Texas (19-14)
40. Oklahoma (18-13)
41. UCLA (21-11)
42. St. Bonaventure (25-7)
43. Arizona State (20-11)
44. Syracuse (20-13)
45. San Diego State (22-10)
46. Loyola-Chicago (28-5)
47. New Mexico State (28-5)
48. Davidson (21-11)
49. South Dakota State (28-6)
50. Murray State (26-5)
51. Buffalo (26-8)
52. UNC-Greensboro (27-7)
53. Charleston (26-7)
54. Marshall (24-10)
55. Bucknell (25-9)
56. Montana (26-7)
57. Wright State (25-9)
58. Stephen F. Austin (28-6)
59. Lipscomb (23-9)
60. Georgia State (24-10)
61. Cal State Fullerton (20-11)
62. Iona (20-13)
63. UMBC (24-10)
64. Penn (24-8)
65. Radford (22-12)
66. LIU-Brooklyn (18-16)
67. N.C. Central (19-15)
68. Texas Southern (15-19)

A lot of OSU’s frustrations can be directed at the outdated RPI metric. The Cowboys finished with an 87, which would’ve made OSU’s inclusion the team with the highest RPI by a wide margin to get into the field.

But nevertheless, the RPI and a lacking non-con schedule appears to be the only things that kept them out. Which is only made more frustrating by the fact that the RPI is being made extinct.

“I think a message that a lot of people are seeing is we like to see teams that schedule, especially in the nonconference, that schedule games that allow the committee to take a look at whether or not they’re worthy of consideration,” committee chair Bruce Rasmussen said on Sunday. “In looking at games outside the conference, they had a lot of wins but they had a lot of games against teams that really were in the bottom 100 in the RPI.”

Being left out of the field absolutely stings, but it’s not particularly surprising. However being left out of the first four out, while teams like OU and Syracuse snuck in, is what drives coaches and media alike up the wall.

And it’s why the death of the RPI can’t come soon enough.