KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oklahoma’s win over Baylor gave the Sooners a big boost for their NCAA Tournament hopes, according to ESPN Bracketology.
After the Sooners defeated the Bears on Thursday night, ESPN updated its bracket to show that the Sooners (18-14) are now back on the bubble as one of the ‘First Four Out.’
That’s a big change from where they were before the game, as the Sooners weren’t even among the first eight teams out of the bracket.
Winning the Big 12 Tournament would certainly make things easy for the Sooners (18-14), who are riding a four-game winning streak going into Friday’s semifinal game with Texas Tech. That game is set for 8:30 p.m.
And that is still Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser’s goal.
“We came here to win this,” Moser said when asked about his team’s chances to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Winning the Big 12 Tournament would give the Sooners the automatic bid and likely ensure the Big 12 of seven bids to the NCAA Tournament.
If the Sooners can’t pull that off, then they would be reliant on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee awarding them an at-large bid on Sunday.
So one win helped the Sooners’ NCAA Tournament fortunes? Would another win over Texas Tech help it more?
Moser didn’t want to stump for his team with, potentially, two games remaining. But he sort of backed into it.
“I know our case for our team,” Moser said. “We’re in the hardest conference in the country. We have the hardest schedule in the country. We schedule up. Our ratings, our everything is elite.”
The NCAA hadn’t updated their NET ratings after the Sooners’ victory, but that win over Baylor qualified as a Quad 1 win for the Sooners, giving them just their third of the season. A win over Texas Tech on Friday would give the Sooners their fourth.
If the NET is the main determinant for the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, then the Sooners would be in, given their No. 42 overall ranking. That’s better than TCU (46), but the Horned Frogs are sitting on five Quad 1 wins and grabbed their sixth with a win over Texas on Thursday.
So it isn’t just the NET when comparing those resumes. It’s also the Quad 1 wins. The good news for the Sooners is that more potential Quad 1 opponents await.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew seems convinced. The Big 12’s resident Ken Pomeroy expert said the Sooners’ credentials speak for themselves.
“I know they do a great job in scheduling and I think their net rating will speak for itself,” Drew said. “At the end of the day I believe we’re a seven-team bid league, and any team in the Big 12 that gets into the Tournament can win games in the Tournament, so obviously we’re cheering and hoping they do.”
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.