NCAA Selection Committee Chair on Oklahoma State Snub: With Resumé Enhancing Chances, ‘They Fell a Little Short’
It was the toughest of Selection Sundays for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who saw their name on the board as the very first team left out. They were joined by the likes of Rutgers, North Carolina and Clemson on the first four out list.
Clearly, that’s always one of the biggest discussion points when the NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed. Why were these four denied in favor of others such as Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Nevada, who were placed in the field?
With respect to Oklahoma State individually, Chris Reynolds, the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Bradley University and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chair, offered a rather curt explanation.
“Well, when you look at their resume, they had 18 opportunities in the Quad I, and they won only six games,” Reynolds said. “And they had opportunities in their non-conference schedule to win some games to enhance their resumé and they fell a little short.”
That’s fallen upon deaf ears in Stillwater, of course. The Cowboys felt like they should be in, and head coach Mike Boynton even went so far as to plead his case to get his squad into March Madness. On Friday, Boynton penned a letter to the NCAA Tournament Selection committee to advocate for his team to make the Big Dance.
Boynton wrote in part, “I do believe we did enough coming into this tournament. This league presents challenges that, and I’ve been in several others, that no other league does. And I think it’s historically good this year. It’s not just a good league or at least that is better than others, but it’s far and away better than other leagues. And with all due respect, because there’s really good basketball around the country, but to get to eight wins in this conference, four in a row, three sweeps, to play the schedule we played overall is a testament to the character of these guys. We certainly deserve inclusion in this event.”
Oklahoma State also had player John-Michael Wright pen a letter to the committee, saying in part, “I believe we’ve done enough to get into the Big Dance. We are playing in one of the best leagues in the country, and I believe with our resume, we put a lot of good wins up against a lot of good teams. And we have proven to be one of the best teams defensively in the country.”
Instead now, the Pokes will have to settle for an NIT berth and await their matchup there. It’s not the destination they hoped for, but they’ll still get a chance in the postseason.