2012 NCAA Women's Tournament Selection Conundrums: The Case For Oklahoma State

Texas guard Yvonne Anderson and head coach Gail Goestenkors sealed the #6 seed in the Big 12 tournament after beating A&M 79-64 at the Frank Erwin Center. (Credit: Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE)

I'm not going to say that my team deserves anything for going through adversity.

It should be based on body of work and Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell succinctly said as much after Saturday's final regular season game.

"We know we've got to go to the tournament and play well," Littell said of his team's postseason hopes. "We're going to continue to fight and play as hard as we can. I think we deserve to be in (the NCAA tournament) but we're not on the selection committee and we can't control that so we're going to worry about the things that we can control. And that's how we prepare and how we play the game.

"I think just our body of work as far as wins in this league is a big statement."

However.

After Texas closed the season by beating their in-state rivals, Texas A&M, the pundits began to talk about the Longhorns' "lock" to make the NCAA tournament field. Is Texas' lock based on body of work? Or name? Because when you do indeed compare body of work, these two teams are nearly identical in many respects. Yet those same bracket prognosticators seem to have forgotten about the team that the Longhorns are tied with in the conference standings. Over the past 36 hours I have heard no less than three broadcast tandems say as much, projecting Texas as the last Big 12 team in the tournament without mention to OSU.

I'm not sure if my concern is more about Texas being "locked in" to the tournament field or the fact that their counterparts from Stillwater are slipping from the discussion altogether, and all of this is before the Big 12 tournament even takes place.

TEXAS

OSU

KANSAS

Overall record

18-12

16-11

19-11

Non-conference record

10-2

8-1

11-1

Conference record

8-10
(6-3 home, 2-7 away)

8-10
(6-3 home, 2-7 away)

8-10
(3-7 home, 5-4 away)

Last three games

3-0

3-0

1-2

vs. #1 Baylor

0-2

0-2

0-2

vs. #17/13
Texas A&M

2-0

1-1

0-2

vs. Oklahoma

1-1

1-1

1-1

vs. Iowa State

1-1

1-1

1-1

vs. Kansas State

0-2

0-2

0-2

vs. Kansas

0-2

1-1

-

vs. Texas Tech

1-1

1-1

2-0

vs. Missouri

2-0

2-0

1-1

vs. each other

1-1

1-1

1-1 vs. OSU
0-2 vs. UT

Conference finish - preseason poll

3

8

7

Conference finish - actual

T-6 (#8 seed in
Big 12 tournament)

T-6 (#7 seed in
Big 12 tournament)

T-6 (#6 seed in
Big 12 tournament)

Rankings

NR

NR

NR

RPI

54

53

52

Avg. RPI win/loss

143/27
WBB state team sheet

127/35
WBB State team sheet

127/40
WBB State team sheet

Good win

76-71 at Texas A&M
61-60 vs Cal in Hawaii

66-63 at Kansas

83-77 at Oklahoma

Bad loss

72-67 to Kansas
at home

64-63 to Long Island in Reno Tournament

80-76 at Alabama
70-65 to Missouri at home

When Kate Fagan took us inside the bracket selections earlier this month, she made it clear that personal feelings and off-court circumstances were not to be considered and made particular mention of the Cowgirls. While I think that if there is any circumstance that should be taken into account it should be untimely, in-season, tragic death of the head coach and assistant in a plane crash, I can understand why it isn't. But wouldn't you rather reward a young team that has scrapped to a 6th place conference finish with the deck stacked against them than one who has underachieved to that same finish?

I know I would.

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