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Why OU’s Appearance in Top 16 NCAA Tournament Seeding Good News for OSU



On Sunday for the second time ever, the NCAA selection committee revealed an in-season look at the current top 16 seeds in the country. To everyone’s surprise including my own, Oklahoma – which has lost six of its last eight games including a stunner to Iowa State on Saturday – was the final No. 4 seed and No. 16 team overall.

Given the Sooners’ skid, I was stunned to see them make an appearance. But in a way, their surprise showing is actually good news for Oklahoma State based off one specific criteria that will be buzzed about plenty over the next month.

OU has what the committee showed Sunday it values the most: Quadrant 1 wins. OU has six Quadrant 1 wins. OSU, for comparison’s sake, has four.

Here’s a look at the definition of each of the quadrants’ levels.

Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75

Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135

Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240

Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus.

This is good news for the Cowboys who, with a 4-8 record in Quadrant 1 games, still have four Quadrant 1 games left on their remaining schedule. That means that their NCAA Tournament hopes which were once thought to be dead after losing to Baylor are very much alive. The opportunity for OSU is absolutely there for the taking.

And best of all: these metrics (and OU’s surprise showing) indicate that the committee is placing a premium on Quadrant 1 wins and is willing to place more value on them than subpar showings in other Quadrants. That’s good news for OSU when it comes to its losing record in Quandrant 2.

OU is 2-3 overall in Quadrant 2, and a combined 8-0 in 3 and 4.

Here’s OSU’s record in each Quadrant thus far.

Quadrant 1: 4-8 overall, 1-3 in non-conference

Quadrant 2: 1-2 overall, 0-0 in non-conference

Quadrant 3: 3-0 overall, 2-0 in non-conference

Quadrant 4: 7-0 overall, 7-0 in non-conference

At 5-7 overall in the league, the magic number for OSU is probably 8-10 in the regular season. Get there, and the NCAA Tournament is likely. But anything short of that will almost certainly land them on the wrong side of the bubble, barring an unexpected Big 12 tournament run.

That means that of OSU’s six remaining games, it must win at least three of either Kansas State, TCU, Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State or Kansas. Three come on the road (TCU, Texas, Iowa State), and the remaining games are at home.

It’s crunch time for a surging OSU team, and Sunday’s bracket reveal provided encouragement that it is far from being ruled out of the bubble conversation yet.