Oklahoma State, Alabama reach final at NCAA Championship

Bruce Waterfield/Oklahoma State Athletics

Oklahoma State, Alabama reach final at NCAA Championship

Men

Oklahoma State, Alabama reach final at NCAA Championship

STILLWATER, Okla. – Top-ranked Oklahoma State has officially advanced further than it did last time it hosted an NCAA Championship.

But the Cowboys’ work is not done. By a long shot.

Oklahoma State took care of business Tuesday at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as the top-seeded Cowboys defeated Texas A&M, 3-1-1, in the morning quarterfinal and took down Auburn, 3-2, in the afternoon semis. That sets up the Cowboys in Wednesday’s final, where they will face Alabama.

It’s a rematch of a 2014 final that saw the Crimson Tide win and capture its second straight national title. It was Alabama’s third straight final appearance at that time, but the program hadn’t been back to that stage since.

Head coach Jay Seawell doesn’t feel any less excited this time around.

“The similar part (to the previous finals) is the thrill. The journey,” Seawell said. “And so I’m not less excited, I feel exactly the same. … I will never take this for granted.”

The Crimson Tide entered Tuesday as the No. 6 seed but didn’t play like it. Alabama gave out 7-and-6 and 5-and-4 beatdowns courtesy of Wilson Furr and Davis Riley, respectively, in defeating Texas Tech, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. The crew then dismantled second-seeded Duke in the semis, clinching the first three points and leading in the other two matches when they secured the win. (It will go down as a 5-0 victory.)

The fifth-ranked Crimson Tide have been consistent this season, finishing worse than fifth just once – and that was tie for eighth against a loaded Southern Highlands Collegiate field.

They have an experienced coach in the position of approaching an NCAA final. So used to this stage is Seawell that he decided to poke some fun at the fact Oklahoma State has been featured on a TV show, “Driven,” this spring.

“Now, we do have something. I’ve been worried about saying it,” Seawell said. “They’re Driven and #GolfSchool, and I say we’re Undriven and a #FootballSchool, I guess. I thought I’d just finally say that.”

For Oklahoma State, Wednesday represents a chance to finish off a dream season.

The Cowboys won seven times in a row at one point this season and nine times overall heading into nationals. They were preseason No. 1 and have remained at that spot the whole season.

Much has been made of the pressure they are under, especially with the microscope of a TV show. It also doesn’t help that Oklahoma State was No. 1 in the country when it rolled into Karsten Creek for NCAAs in 2011 … and lost in the semifinals.

The program has also twice previously medaled in stroke play at NCAAs in the nationals match-play era and both times failed to capture the national title. Oklahoma State won stroke play by eight shots this week and is looking to become the first No. 1 seed to win NCAAs since the format change in 2009.

A national title Wednesday would also be the Cowboys’ first overall since 2006. Even with all that buildup, Oklahoma State remains calm.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure when you’re as good as we are throughout the lineup,” said junior Zach Bauchou.

It’s a matchup of two powerhouse programs, one on its home course, with the national title on the line. Quite a final we have in store.

A dramatic Wednesday awaits.

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