Looking for the hottest team in college basketball?
Turn your attention to the state of Oklahoma – fresh from a high profile win over Baylor in the semi-finals of the Big 12 tournament.
The Cowboys caught attention in the 2020-21 period due to Cade Cunningham, the 6-8 guard who is slated to be number 1 on the NBA draft. The newcomer did not disappoint. He scored 40 points in overtime win against Oklahoma last month and scored several game-winning jumpers during the year while leading a range in which the OSU won eight of their last nine.
But the state of Oklahoma is much more than just Cunninghham. The Cowboys beat a really good West Virginia team without him last week when he was recovering from an injury. In that game, Avery Anderson III paved the way with 31 points.
“I hope we continue to dispel the idea that we are Cade and a bunch of puppets,” coach Mike Boynton told reporters after Baylor’s victory.
When it comes to seeding NCAA tournaments, the OSU is likely to be rated a # 3 seed, but this roster strongly advocates a # 2 seed if any of the current # 2 seeds fail and the state of Oklahoma denies Big wins 12 tournament titles. The Cowboys now have 10 Quadrant 1 wins, the third best schedule strength in the country. These testimonials speak volumes for the selection committee.
Seed No. 1
Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Illinois.
The last four in
Drake, Colorado State, Syracuse, Boise State.
The first four out
State of Utah, Saint Louis, Memphis, Ole Miss.
The next four out
Seton Hall, St. Johns, Xavier, Southern Methodist.
Multi-Command Conferences: Big Ten (9), ACC (8), Big 12 (7), SEC (6), Big East (4), Pac-12 (4), Mountain West (3), Atlantic 10 (2), American Athletic ( 2), Missouri Valley (2), West Coast (2).
Executives or highest NET from scheduled conferences with a bid – (20 total): America East – Hartford, Atlantic Sun – Freedom, Big Sky – East Washington, Great South – Winthrop, Great West – UCSB, CAA – Drexel, C-USA – West Kentucky, Horizon – Cleveland State, MAAC – Iona, MAC – Buffalo, MEAC – Norfolk St., Northeast – Mount St. Mary’s, OVC – Morehead St, Patriot – Colgate, South – UNCG, Southland – Abilene Christian, SWAC – Prairie View A&M, Summit – Oral Roberts, Sun Belt – Appalachian State , WAC – Grand Canyon
- Excluded from participation: State of Alabama, Alabama A&M, State of Delaware, Auburn, Arizona.
- Transitional schools not admitted to the tournament: Cal Baptist, Northern Alabama, Merrimack, Dixie State, Tarleton State, Bellarmine, UC San Diego.
- COVID-19: Ivy League, Bethune-Cookman, Maryland East Coast, Howard, Maine.
Explanation of the language of the NCAA tournament:
- NET stands for the NCAA Evaluation Tool, which is the barometer for the selection committee. It includes the game results, the strength of the schedule, the venue, the profit margin (maximum 10 points per game) and the offensive and defensive efficiency.
- Quadrant 1 wins: home games against 1-30 NET teams; Games with neutral side against 1-50 NET; Away games against 1-75 NET
- Quadrant 2 wins: home games against 31-75 NET; Games with neutral side against 51-100 NET; Away games against 76-135 NET
- Quadrant 3 wins: home games against 76-160 NET; Games with neutral side against 101-200 NET; Away games against 136-240 NET
- Quadrant 4 wins: home games against 161-plus NET; Neutral site games against 201-plus NET; Away games against NET 241 plus
Note: Most of the statistical data is used by WarrenNolan.com. The NET Ranking List (NCAA Evaluation Tool) is also a reference point.
Via our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field on its Bracket WAG website since 2005. He joined USA TODAY in 2014. In his eighth season as our national bracketologist, Mast has graduated as one of the top three bracketologists in the past seven March Madnesses. He is also predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com, and is a founding member of the Super 10 selection committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson