Oklahoma Reaches NCAA Tournament Over Much Better Teams Because Trae Young
Mar 12 2018 by Marjorie Miles
The Rams will face 10th-seeded Oklahoma, in the first round, Thursday in Pittsburgh.
"Any time you get to play in the tournament you're delighted", said Kruger.
Each had a different critique of Oklahoma, with Barkley noting the way the Sooners stumbled badly down the stretch and Vitale wondering how they could have been chosen over in-state rival Oklahoma State. They've got talent. They've got one of the best players in the tournament in Trae Young, but they shouldn't be in because Oklahoma State had the same resume and beat them twice and was trending up.
The 2-seed Oklahoma State Cowboys finished their season with an overall record of 19-14 (8-10 Big 12), however, fell just short of getting an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament despite multiple wins against Kansas along with victories against West Virginia and Texas Tech. Obviously, great respect for Rhode Island and the year they've had. Oklahoma also boasts five Elite Eight showings and six Sweet 16 appearances.
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This is Rhode Island's second consecutive trip to the tournament under A-10 Coach of the Year Dan Hurley and only the second time in the history of the program that URI has gone to consecutive NCAA tournaments.
The Rams are 7-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma owns an 18-13 record behind the fifth-highest-scoring offense in the country, averaging 85.2 points per game. He finished the regular season leading the nation in points (27.5) and assists (8.9) per game, a feat that has never been done.
An ESPN colleague of Vitale's, Jay Bilas, also didn't think much of the Sooners' inclusion in the field. Young leads in assists with 8.8 while Khadeem Lattin tops in rebounds with 6.0 per game.