Two universities quite accustomed to competing for national championships in golf will face off on Wednesday, as both Alabama and Oklahoma State won their semifinal matches in the NCAA men's golf championships on Tuesday.
Alabama will be looking to win its second consecutive national title, while Oklahoma State will be chasing its 11th national title—but first since 2006—according to Jeffrey Parson of the Associated Press via ABC News.
After winning the title last year by dominating LSU, Alabama will likely go into the finals as the favorite. But Oklahoma State will be confident it can defeat the Crimson Tide after knocking off a Stanford squad that came into this tournament as the top team in the country.
Let's recap how these teams landed in the final.
|Oklahoma State (4)||4||0||1|
|Georgia Tech (5)||0||4||1|
While Oklahoma State and LSU cruised, defending national champion Alabama was tested against SMU and Stanford had its hands full with last year's runner-up in Illinois.
The Crimson Tide needed a Robby Shelton birdie on the 18th hole to beat Andrew Buchanan and clinch the win over SMU, while Cameron Wilson—the NCAA individual title winner on Monday, May 26—took the lead on the 17th hole after Alex Burge battled him valiantly throughout the match and held off the Illini player on the 18th hole to earn the win for Stanford.
That set up two very intriguing semifinals.
Alabama vs. LSU
Alabama dominated the first semifinal, winning four of the five matchups behind Trey Mullinax's dominant win, as he decisively defeated Curtis Thompson of LSU, 4 and 2.
From Alabama Men's Golf on Twitter:
Trey Mullinax closes out his match & LSU. Crimson Tide advance to their third straight NCAA Championships finals— Alabama Men's Golf (@AlabamaMGolf) May 27, 2014
Bobby Wyatt was nearly as dominant for the Crimson Tide, winning a 3 and 2 over Benjamin Taylor. Robby Shelton didn't need to go the distance either, winning 2 and 1 over Stewart Jolly, while Tom Lovelady and LSU's Smylie Kaufman went the distance, with the 'Bama man maintaining a one-hole win.
Only Zach Wright won for LSU, winning by a hole over Cory Whitsett.
After, Alabama's coach Jay Seawell had high praise for the dominant Mullinax, per Ryan Lavner of the Golf Channel:
America can wait—it's Oklahoma State that will have to deal with him first.
Stanford vs. Oklahoma State
|Oklahoma State (4)||3||2||0|
While Alabama dominated LSU, Oklahoma State needed clutch performances from Talor Gooch and Wyndham Clark to defeat Stanford.
Gooch needed a birdie on the third overtime hole to advance past Maverick McNealy, while Clark took an early lead and needed to hang on for dear life against Viraat Badhwar's late charge to secure Oklahoma State's victory.
From Golf Central:
Ok. State’s Wyndham Clark clinches his team a date with Alabama after defeating Viraat Badhwar 1 up. #NCAAGolf— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) May 28, 2014
Zachary Olsen was the other winner for Oklahoma State, with a strong 3 and 2 victory over David Boote.
Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
|Oklahoma State (4)||1||4||0|
Nick Saban's got nothing on Jay Seawell.
Alabama walked into the NCAA tournament as the best team in the country, and the Crimson Tide walked out as national champions with a 4-1 victory over Oklahoma State.
Trey Mullinax secured the win with an eagle putt on No. 17, beating Ian Davis 2 and 1 and giving Alabama its third win on the day.
"You dream about this when you're at the country club chipping and putting. You've got that putt to win," the senior said in an interview with The Golf Channel after the round, via Andrew Gribble of AL.com. "It's just a dream come true and I'm so glad that I came to Alabama."
Bobby Wyatt and Robby Shelton started the day off well. Wyatt knocked off Talor Gooch 3 and 2, while Shelton bested Zachary Olsen 1-up.
Wyndham Clark kept Oklahoma State alive with a 3 and 1 win over Tom Lovelady, but Mullinax shut the door for good one match later.
Seawell was asked whether or not his team could make it three in a row next year.
"Saban would punch you in the nose on that one," he responded.
Whether Seawell likes it nor not, a dynasty is brewing down in Tuscaloosa.