OSU basketball: Cowboys miss out on NCAA Tournament


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The St. Bonaventure University basketball team reacts to the news that they had earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

The Cavaliers did it with no surefire National Basketball Association lottery picks and a shutdown defense that led the nation with the fewest points allowed per game.

ESPN's Dick Vitale, who annually ramps up the melodrama for some snubbed team, chided the committee for omitting the Cowboys. St. Mary's was left out despite going 28-5 and beating Gonzaga because, Rasmussen said, it did not have enough quality wins, even as he acknowledged that it is structurally hard for teams outside basketball's six power conferences to schedule top nonleague competition.

Arizona (27-7) also is peaking at the right time, following a Pac-12 regular-season title with a dominating win over Southern California in the conference tournament. He said perception, not results, was holding OSU's postseason outlook back; in October, the Cowboys were picked to finish last in the Big 12. The Retrievers upset Vermont in the America East Conference title game Saturday 65-62 on a late 3-pointer. The victor of that game gets No.1 seed Xavier. Villanova lost opening weekend as a No. 1 seed in 2015, and as a No. 2 seed in 2014 and 2010.

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The South Region will present Virginia with the toughest road to the Final Four in San Antonio of any No. 1 seed other than Kansas. Oh, and it has Oklahoma freshman Trae Young, who has the potential to go on a Steph Curry-like NCAA run.

Auburn was one of a record eight SEC teams to make the field, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M;, regular-season co-champion Tennessee and conference tournament champion Kentucky.

Duke (26-7) has one of the nation's most talented rosters, led by senior guard Grayson Allen and dynamic freshman big man Marvin Bagley Jr.

OSU, though, will play in the NIT for the first since 2011, missing the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

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After losing to Villanova in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament Thursday, Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said he believed his team had done enough to make March Madness. They beat Wisconsin in 2001 as a No. 11 seed and shocked Baylor 57-56 in 2015 as a No. 14 seed.

The Cavaliers headline the South Region bracket, earning a No. 1 seed for the sixth time in program history.

Second, the show will begin with all 68 teams revealed before they bracket is filled and matchups unveiled.

The Tar Heels (25-10), the No. 2 seed in the West region, get to start close to home, in Charlotte on Friday against No. 15 Lipscomb (23-9), and potentially get to go somewhere warm if they win two games. The Wildcats (30-4) will play the victor of the LIU Brooklyn-Radford on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Having several key players back from last year's national championship victor also gives UNC an advantage over the rest of the region.

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Missouri forward Jordan Barnett was arrested by university police at 3:26 a.m. on Saturday for suspected drunken driving. The last NCAA Tournament game the program won was an 86-78 victory over Clemson in 2010. "We get another chance".

The Shockers didn't miss a beat in their first season in the American Athletic Conference and secured their ninth straight 25-win season.

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