Cowboys Pleased With Oklahoma City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Eddie Sutton got his wish when the NCAA selection committee gave the Cowboys a No. 2 seed and sent them to the Ford Center in Oklahoma City for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. OSU, 24-6 and seeded second in the Chicago Regional, will face 15th-seeded Southeastern Louisiana, 24-8, in a first-round game Friday in Oklahoma City. Game times will be announced on Monday afternoon.

If the Cowboys win their first game they will play Sunday against the winner of the Southern Illinois-St.Mary's game, also scheduled for Friday.

"We're happy to get to go to Oklahoma City," OSU head coach Eddie Sutton said from Kemper Arena after the Cowboys won the Big 12 Tournament title with a 72-68 victory over Texas Tech. "Like I said before, I think a majority of the tickets belong to the Cowboys. There's no doubt that we'll be rooting for Kansas, and the Kansas fans will be rooting for us. I thought the committee did a good job of really balancing the tournament."

The other first-round games in Oklahoma City on Friday will involve Kansas vs. Bucknell and Wisconsin vs. Northern Iowa.

Sutton, who will be leading the Cowboys into the NCAA Tournament for the eighth consecutive year and 13th time in his 15 years as OSU's head coach, says the Cowboys will take every advantage they can gain this time of the year.

"I know the second game will be a tough game because I've seen both those teams play and they're both very good ball clubs," Sutton said.

Joey Graham said the OSU players are also happy with being placed in Oklahoma City for the first two rounds, although they were hoping to get a No. 1 seed following Sunday's victory.

"We were hoping for a No. 1 (seed) but we still got Oklahoma City and we got our fans that are going to be able to support us, so it's all good," Joey Graham said. "I think we were placed pretty good when you look at the other teams in the Big 12."

Sutton said he is glad the Cowboys won't be traveling east again, as they have done 11 of the past 12 times they've played in the NCAA Tournament. But he's just as happy that OSU is playing in a regional that doesn't begin until Friday after the Cowboys played three games in the last three days.

"First of all we don't play until Friday. We're tired and we'll be able to go home, and we don't have school because it's spring break, and I think the guys can get their batteries recharged and I think that's important," Sutton said.

OSU will meet No. 1-seeded Illinois in the Chicago Regional championship game in two weeks, if all goes according to plan.

"Illinois, if we can get that far, that's probably as good a match up as we could hope for because North Carolina is really probably the best team in the field," Sutton said. "We're just happy to be able to stay close to home the first two games."

Could the Cowboys have been a No. 1 seed if they had taken care of business and beat Texas in the final regular season home game?

"Well, that's what (Billy) Packer was talking about but evidently they didn't think a lot of us because they put us in the same bracket as Illinois, so we must have been the fourth two seed," Sutton said. "That game really hurt us but we might not have won the tournament if we had beat Texas."

GoPokes Top Stories