The drought, curse, or whatever you want to call it, is finally over! After 26 long years, OSU’s back in the NCAA tournament. The No. 7-seeded Beavers (Man, doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?) face VCU on Friday morning in Oklahoma City.
What a job by Coach Tinkle and Co, to get the Beavers here in just two years. I’ll be honest, I would’ve been perfectly happy with the NIT this season. But the Beavers won some key games down the stretch to put them in strong position to make the NCAA tournament, minus Tres Tinkle to boot. And just like that, they are going dancing! Congrats to all the players for buying in and keeping focused. They have been so much fun to watch this season.
Some perspective… the last time the Beavers went to the tourney, I was 8 years old. I really wasn’t into sports, much less college basketball. And when I did start getting into sports a few years later, I didn’t realize the significance of the Gary Payton and Scott Haskin cards I was pulling out of packs.
I became a big Beavers hoops fan during the Eddie Payne era, enthralled by the promise of Corey Benjamin, Carson Cunningham, and J.B Bickerstaff. I attended OSU during the Ritchie McKay and Jay John years. And then I watched as Craig Robinson landed strong recruits and started off strong, only to come up short.
So despite being a huge hoops fan, it’s always been hard for me to get excited about March Madness — because the Beavers haven’t been it it since 1990. It will be weird filling out my bracket this week and finally seeing OSU, and you better believe I am picking them against VCU. Maybe I’ll go crazy and pick them to go far 🙂
Friday can’t get here soon, enough! Go Beavers! (RW)