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Middle Tennessee lost in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament after winning the regular season title, which in previous years might have been enough to knock them out of the NCAAs. Not this time. The Blue Raiders (28-5) are headed to the tournament, helped along by another upset when Mississippi knocked off Florida in the SEC championship game Sunday. Middle Tennessee had beaten the Rebels.

“They had no rough patches along the way, and their win over Ole Miss looks better at this point in time,” said Bobinski, who frequently cited road wins as a leading factor in who got bids.

After a season of upsets, Oklahoma State’s Ford doesn’t expect anything to change in the NCAAs.

“More than any year I can remember, I don’t think seeding really matters,” he said. “Probably if you’re a (No.) 1 seed, your first game, you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting by that. Then even after that, I think it’s throw it up in the air. I looked at some of those games. Even a lot of the No. 1 seeds have some tough second-round games.”

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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AP Sports Writers Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City, Gary Graves in Lexington, Ky.; Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo.; and Aaron Beard in Greensboro, N.C., contributed to this report.