Will Oklahoma State’s Scandal Prevent Cade Cunningham From Making His March Madness Debut?

Published 03/03/2021, 12:00 PM EST
Feb 3, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) in action during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


When Cade Cunningham was entering college, he had a tough choice. Play for the best teams in the country, like Kentucky, or join his older brother at Oklahoma State. He chose to reunite with his brother, who is an assistant coach with the Cowboys.

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When he made this decision, he knew the Cowboys were banned from the 2021 edition of the NCAA tournament. But that didn’t deter his decision. After an amazing regular season averaging 19.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, Cunningham has lived up to the hype. There were doubts about his outside shooting, but he has proved his critics wrong, averaging 41% from deep.

These performances have swayed the fans who now believe that it would be criminal to deny the young genius a chance in the NCAA tournament. Cunningham is leaving the Cowboys next season to leave for the NBA. So this is the only time fans can see him in the famed March Madness.

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Few more days until Cade Cunningham and the Cowboys learn their fate

When OSU was investigated for the corruption scandal, former assistant coach Lamont Evans pleaded guilty to accepting bribes. The NCAA wanted to set a precedent, and it led to the Cowboys’ one-year postseason ban.

But when Evans was found guilty of the same offenses again, this time with South Carolina, the team only suffered two-year probation. There were a few other punishments too, but they were still eligible to play in the NCAA tournament.

This judgment could aid OSU’s appeal. If the NCAA does not answer their appeal in the coming weeks, or if they win the decision, the Cowboys will be eligible to feature in the tournament. It will be a remarkable return to the tournament for the Cowboys, who last played in the 2017 edition. Their hard work throughout the season has earned them the number 17 rank in AP Poll.

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Feb 3, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) celebrates with guard Bryce Williams (14) during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are certain to qualify for the tournament, but they have two big games left. They face the Baylor Bears in their next game, in a battle of the two superstar guards: Jared Butler and Cade Cunnigham. They end their season with another top 10 opponent as they face the West Virginia Mountaineers.

It will be an uphill battle, but the Cowboys will place their hopes in Cunningham and hope he can take them to the win.

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DIVE DEEPER

NCAA Analyst Believes Evan Mobley Can’t Match Up To Cade Cunningham On NBA Draft Boards

2 months ago

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Aaron Mathew

1551 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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