March Madness is starting! Can you feel it? I, for one, am going absolutely crazy. No matter how well my teams do in their respective tournaments, I love absorbing the atmosphere, watching all the upsets and buzzer beaters - there's no other time of the year like it.
The lead story in today's notebook is the 1 seed. Will the Sooners get it? If you jump back and read one of my earlier stories, you'll see that I don't think the difference between a 1 or 2 seed is worth worrying about. The tournament selection committee starts their meetings today in Indianapolis, and who knows what will be going through their heads leading up to Selection Sunday.
In the meantime, every sports fan can do what they love to do - speculate. Here's a rundown on the latest speculation:
- ESPN, Rivals and Sports Illustrated all have us at a 2 seed. ESPN has us in UNC's region, Rivals in UConn's region and SI has us in Louisville's region.
- CBS Sports and FOX Sports both have OU as a #1 seed, with Duke as the #2 in their region.
- Here's an interesting quote from a Tulsa World article:
And in some of the nation's newspapers. The Philadelphia Daily News invited Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli and Temple's Fran Dunphy to join a mock selection committee. The group made the Sooners the last of their four top seeds, edging out Memphis to join Pittsburgh, North Carolina and UConn.
The Hartford Courant, meanwhile, picked OU over Louisville to join the Panthers, Tar Heels and Huskies as number ones. Now that's an East Coast bias the Sooners can live with.
In my opinion, it basically all boils down to the Sooners actually coming out and taking care of business in this tournament. They need to silence any doubters, win the tournament and then they'll be guaranteed a #1 seed. Lose before reaching the final and they are pretty much guaranteed a 2 seed. Lose in the final and it's up for some debate. Jeff Capel and Blake Griffin have pretty much the same attitude as me about this:
"It would be cool," Capel said of earning a No. 1 seed. "But you've still gotta play the games and win the games. We played for the national championship my freshman year (at Duke) as a No. 2 seed. So it's been done."
That's that for now. I'm going to put in a shameless plug quick before the jump (more interesting stories await in the rest of the article). If you haven't voiced an opinion yet on who deserves to be on the Sooners Mount Rushmore, comment on the thread!
Baylor downed Nebraska earlier, looking pretty impressive. Also, Texas was played close by Colorado for most of the game but ultimately won. Oklahoma State is playing Iowa State as I type. For a preview of the Big 12 Tournament, click here or just scroll down.
Baylor is a dangerous team right now. They have nothing to lose and they shot great from the field today (54%). They were scorching from beyond the arc at 41%. They play Kansas at 11:30AM on ESPN2 tomorrow morning. They lost to Kansas by 10 earlier in conference play and are 2-11 in their last 13 games, but there is upset potential here. Baylor has talent. If they come out hot again tomorrow, look out.
The Jeff Capel & Blake Griffin story has made headlines in many notable newspapers lately, the New York Times among them. Add the Chicago Tribune to the list.
OU has at least one fan in the national media. Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated filled out a coach of the year ballot for Jeff Capel and apparently is thinking of picking OU to win the tournament.
If the Sooners can win their first game, it's setting up wonderfully for OU to be able to settle some scores in the tournament. The first possibility would be Mizzou in the semifinals. Then they could potentially face Texas or Kansas in the final. Of course, that's a lot of ifs. But still, it's an interesting storyline nonetheless.
Hopefully after the ISU/OSU game finishes, we'll be able to put up some sort of preview related to the game tomorrow.