University of Alabama coach Jay Seawell knows what to expect because he’s been here before.
In this case, here is the national championship match, which the Crimson Tide have reached for the fourth time since 2012. It lost the first time against Jordan Spieth and Texas, but came back to win back-to-back titles in 2013-14 — the second of which was against the team Alabama will be facing Wednesday afternoon, Oklahoma State.
The Crimson Tide won 4-1, in Hutchinson, Kansas.
This time Oklahoma State has the advantage of playing on its home course.
The top-seeded Cowboys have been considered the team to beat in college golf all season. Every player has a sub-par scoring average, with three who were ranked in the top 15 individually prior to the tournament with No. 4 Matthew Wolff, No. 5 Viktor Hovland and No. 14 Zach Bauchou.
The Cowboys notched seven straight wins and nine overall, one short of trying the program record set in 1985-86. Overall, OSU has won 10 national titles and been the runner-up 17 times.
It also has a strong fan base, with approximately 5,000 expected to show up and root for the home team.
“We realize that [Wednesday] we’re going to hit a lot of good shots and won’t hear a single thing except for maybe a mom and a dad, so I know that’s coming, and there’s nothing wrong with it,” Seawell said. “That’s what makes it great. So we’ll share a little bit what happened in Kansas a little bit because they probably had a couple thousand people in Kansas and we had like 100. So it’ll be a lot more than that [Wednesday]. But there’s still five guys playing golf, and that’s what we’ve tried to talk about the whole time.”
- What: NCAA Men’s Match Play Championship
- When: 3:25 ET Wednesday.
- Where: Karsten Creek, Stillwater, Okla.
- Par: 72; Yardage: 7,460 yards
- Weather forecast: It rained Tuesday night, but sunny conditions are expected despite a few afternoon clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. A high of 94 degrees with winds at 5 to 10 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent.
Alabama players are listed first.
- Lee Hodges vs. Viktor Hovland
- Davis Riley vs. Matthew Wolff
- Wilson Furr vs. Kristoffer Ventura
- Davis Shore vs. Austin Eckroat
- Jonathan Hardee vs. Zach Bauchou
What’s the best way to keep up with the match
Fans have numerous options:
- TV: The Golf Channel will show the match beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
- Live updates: Will be posted on SEC Country
- Live stats: Will be available on golfstat.com
- Twitter updates: @AlabamaMGolf
What you should know
- No. 6 Alabama advanced by defeating Texas Tech 3-2 in the quarterfinals, and swept Duke 5-0 in the semifinals. No. 1 Oklahoma State squeezed out a 3-1-1 win over Texas A&M, and won 3-2 over Auburn on Tuesday.
- Alabama’s two freshmen, Davis Shore and Wilson Furr, combined to go 4-0 on their matches. “I’ve never been on a team with freshmen who can play this way,” Crimson Tide senior Lee Hodges said. “I knew they’d be great players, but they’re even better than I thought.”
- Former Alabama player Justin Thomas, now ranked No. 1 in the world, spent some time with the team last week when in Tuscaloosa for a charity event. He also practiced at the team facility and has been sending the players texts this week. “When he talks, he’s someone you listen to,” junior Davis Riley said.
- Seawell on his team playing for the national championship. “I will never take this for granted, so I feel as excited as I did in 2012 when the first time we did this. I feel exactly the same. I’m just really proud for the guys. It’s a player’s game. I get to drive the van. I love coming to work every day and doing all the things that we do because these are special kids. And I think we forget sometimes how hard people work just to be — to have this opportunity, and I’m thankful that I get a front row seat to that.”
Let’s GOOOO @AlabamaMGolf!!!! That was a DOMINATING day! Onto the next. Keep it up boys 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) May 29, 2018