CHARLOTTESVILLE — There are so many layers to it, so many ways to look at it, so many possibilities.
When it comes to the NCAA tournament, the difference between what could happen, should happen and eventually does happen can represent quite a range.
So Sherri Coale chose to clear it up.
“I can make it even simpler for you,” the Oklahoma women’s coach said. “We don’t turn it over and we win. If we keep this thing around 10 or 12 turnovers, we win the game. Now that’s real simple. Doing that is another thing entirely.”
Could it be that simple?
No. 6 seed 21st-ranked OU (22-11) meets No. 3 seed and 11th-ranked Miami (28-4) at 6 p.m. today in the second-round of the Dayton Regional at John Paul Jones Arena.
OU is young, but its veterans have the experience of reaching two straight Final Fours. Miami, starting three sophomore and two juniors, reached the WNIT final last season, but the entirety of its Big Dance experience under sixth-year coach Katie Meier was gained Sunday in the Hurricanes’ 80-62 victory over Gardner-Webb.
“Obviously, the advantage goes to Oklahoma on that one … The thing that is different is right now is (there are) two teams,” Meier said. “What are your strengths, what are your weaknesses. You’re playing in Charlottesville, period. It is one game.”
Maybe she’s right.
But if she’s right, if the game is played in a vacuum in which yesterday and tomorrow are hardly relevant, could it still be as simple as Coale tried to make it?
Well, those listening to what Sooner and Hurricane coaches and players had to say Monday would have to conclude she’s pretty close. Turnovers aside, it would seem, at least, to be about pressure: exerting it and surviving it.
Miami wants to run.