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October 25, 2014

Defending champion Tide advances to NCAA finals

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Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 8:40 pm | Updated: 8:42 pm, Tue May 27, 2014.

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Alabama will attempt to defend its NCAA men's golf championship when it faces Oklahoma State in the final match of the team competition at venerable Prairie Dunes.

The second-seeded Crimson Tide beat seventh-seeded SMU 3-2 in the quarterfinals Tuesday, and then rolled to a 4-1 victory over third-seeded LSU in the semifinals.

“The hardest part about match play is match can go either way,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “The tide goes back and forth all the time, so you just try to stay in the moment. You just have to stay in the present and let the players play.”

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State topped Georgia Tech to reach the semifinals, where the Cowboys upset top-seeded Stanford 3-2 to reach the championship.

Alabama reached today’s final for the third straight year. The Crimson Tide lost 3-2 to Texas in 2012 at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles, and beat Illinois 4-1 in last year's final at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.

Against SMU, the Crimson Tide got match-play wins from Bobby Wyatt (3 and 2), Cory Whitsett (5 and 4) and Robby Shelton (2 up).

Against LSU, which advanced with a 4-1 win over sixth-seeded UCLA, Wyatt won 3 and 2 at No. 1, while Shelton picked up the win 2 and 1 at No. 2.

Tom Lovelady came away with the point at No. 3, finishing 1 up. Trey Mullinax won 4 and 2 at No. 4 to round out the Tide's victories.

“An SEC team is going to be in the final, which is a big deal,” Seawell said. “We have a lot of pride in our conference. LSU finished runner-up to us in the SEC.”

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