The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 19, 2013

Oklahoma women get dream draw as No. 6 seed in NCAA tournament

NORMAN — It probably could have gone one of three different ways for the Oklahoma women Monday.

Waiting to hear the news of the program’s 14th straight NCAA tournament appearance, the Sooners might have been given a No. 8-seed and been matched up with a No. 1-seed on the No. 1-seed’s home court, should they reach the second round.

That’s the way ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme had it, sending OU to Storrs, Conn., opposite UConn.

The middle road had the Sooners receiving a No. 6- or 7-seed, which would have been plenty reasonable, but still come with a second-round matchup with a No. 2- or 3-seed on that No. 2- or 3-seed’s home court.

OU might have expected such a route, as 14 of 16 first- and second-round tournament sites will be playing host to the team that calls that floor home.

Still left was the most ridiculously hopeful option the Sooners could ever have wanted: a No. 6 seed, in the Oklahoma City Regional, playing the first two rounds of the tournament in an arena no team calls home.

Guess which one they got?

“We’re very excited,” OU coach Sherri Coale said.

The No. 6-seed Sooners (22-10) open NCAA tournament play in Columbus, Ohio, against No. 11-seed Central Michigan (21-11), the surprise conference tournament champion of the Mid-American Conference, at 10:10 Saturday morning.

If the Chippewas are to have a big crowd inside Value City Arena (capacity 18,809), they’ll have to travel the 315 miles from Mount Pleasant to get there.

The site was designed to host Ohio State, but the Buckeyes, who went 18-13 overall and 7-9 in the Big 10, are not dancing.

And the draw gets even better for OU.

Beat the Chippewas and the Sooners will meet the winner of No. 3-seed UCLA and No. 14-seed Stetson. The Bruins defeated OU 86-80 on Nov. 14, the second game of the season, inside Lloyd Noble Center.

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