2013 NCAA Tournament: Are the Oklahoma Sooners Even on the Bubble?
If you read that title, then clicked to see what was inside, you are likely an Oklahoma Sooners fan. You would like to know whether or not your team is on the bubble, and if so, which side does a middle of the pack Big 12 team fall on. The short answer, while good news, is still complicated. Not because of some fancy RPI/BPI scenario, but because it seems like Oklahoma will actually be dancing in March this year(I think). Why is that complicated you ask, because it defies logic. Well, if there were any logic in trying to breakdown this team to begin with.
The Sooners have beaten exactly one more nationally ranked teams(at the time) then you or I have, just one. However, that is not a prerequisite for making the NCAA Tournament, regardless of how nice it is to have on a resume. But not only have they had only one victory over a ranked team, when they face top 25 opponents, the plus/minus is a mind-altering negative 48. That negative numbers comes in only 6 match-ups(one of which they won) against ranked teams, leaving the Sooners losing to ranked teams by an average of 8 points per contest. In all fairness though, their 25 point loss to a then ranked 17th Gonzaga Bulldogs did do much harm in skewing the average.
Then again, the Sooners RPI is an impressive 18 national ranking while there BPI is 41st. Those are some more numbers that are going to be thrown out if Oklahoma falters towards the end or only plays average.
The complication that defies logic is this. I gave you two separate sets of statistical data that backs up reasons for sending them or for denying them access to go dancing in March. You can make the numbers go whichever way you prefer the Sooners’ fates to head. However, numbers often lie, and I feel using them while trying to justify or crucify Oklahoma is the wrong move.
We shouldn’t be asking about the Sooners’ RPI or what their plus/minus is against ranked competition. In fact, the only question we should be asking is, do they look good when we watch them. And, at least for me, when I watch them play all I cam come away with is, sometimes this team looks great and sometimes they look awful.
So there is your Oklahoma bubble watch breakdown. If anyone can tell you how good or bad the Sooners are, let it be known to the world, they are what we like to call big, fat, ugly liars.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone
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