OSU Gets The Spotlight With Oregon Pairing

STILLWATER - When Le'Bryan Nash committed to Oklahoma State out of high school — turning down offers from perennial powers like Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA — he wanted to bring Stillwater back into the national basketball conversation. Or as he calls it, the spotlight. After two seasons, Nash got his wish.

On Sunday, inside Oklahoma State's locker room, Nash and the Cowboys learned their NCAA Tournament fate: a No. 5 vs. No. 12 match up with Oregon on Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

Minutes after the announcement, Nash took to twitter for his analysis of the controversial seeding:

@KingNash02: I like that everybody talking about our matchup #spotlight

"(My phone) is still blowing up right now as we speak," Nash said. "As I said on Twitter, we're going to California. I've gotten a lot of retweets of that. I posted one tweet (the above mentioned) that I'm getting a lot of retweets and people are tweeting me back about.

"A lot of people are talking about us playing Oregon. I love the spotlight. That's what the analysts are going to talk about. I think that everybody knows that Oregon deserves a better seed ... It's going to be a great match up. I can't wait to play."

Markel Brown sees both sides of that spotlight. It's nice to be in the discussion, even if the details of that conversation aren't necessarily in the Cowboys' favor.

"I don't think they're talking about it in a good way though," Brown said. "But yeah, I like them talking about it. It shows that a lot of people are going to be watching. This is what the NCAA Tournament is for. We love people talking about us. It's going to be a good game."

The controversy stems from what appears to be a strangely low seed for Oregon. The Ducks (26-8) finished the year with two more wins than OSU (24-8). They also captured the Pac-12 Tournament championship with a 78-69 win against UCLA.

Travis Ford's job of scouting the Ducks only gets tougher from here on out. The Cowboys are just four days from making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010. OSU hasn't won a tournament game since the 2009 season, whey they took down No. 8 seed Tennessee, 77-75.

Ford said he predicted San Jose would be the Cowboys' destination. And he's glad it shook out that way.

"We're excited to go out to the West Coast," Ford said. "I think that's good for our basketball team, to get away and focus."

But even Ford was surprised the Ducks fell to a 12th seed.

"You're always shocked when a BCS school wins a tournament championship, that they're a 12-seed," Ford said. "But I haven't studied enough."


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