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Alabama, Oklahoma St. to meet in NCAA final

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Alabama and Oklahoma State both cruised into the final match of the men's NCAA championship, setting up a clash between two storied programs who faced off for the title four years ago.

The Crimson Tide survived a close match with Texas Tech in the morning at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., but they barely broke a sweat during the afternoon semifinals against Duke. Alabama won each of the five matches to shut out the Blue Devils, with Davis Riley earning the third and clinching point with a victory over Adrien Pendaries, 3 and 2.

Alabama's opponent will be the hometown Cowboys, the top-ranked team in the country playing on their home course. Oklahoma State got pushed to the limit by Texas A&M in a hard-fought quarterfinal, but the semifinal against Auburn was more lopsided. Although the final score was 3-2, none of the three matches won by the Cowboys reached the 17th tee.


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The clinching point was secured by Austin Eckroat, who beat individual runner-up Brandon Mancheno, 3 and 2, to set up a meeting with the No. 6-seeded Crimson Tide. Teammates Viktor Hovland and Zach Bauchou also won their matches, 4 and 3, against Jovan Rebula and Wells Padgett, respectively.

The stakes in Wednesday's final will be similar to those back in 2014 at Prairie Dunes, when Alabama and Oklahoma State also met in the championship match. In that battle, Alabama won 4-1 to successfully defend its national title, with Trey Mullinax holing the winning putt.

This is the fourth time in the last seven years that Alabama has advanced to the match-play final, having won in 2013 and 2014 and having lost to Texas in 2012. Oklahoma State will be in search of its 11th national title in program history and first since 2006, having lost in the championship match in 2010 and 2014.