Hardly fearful about a rematch, OU is looking forward to it, even while mindful Central Michigan must first be toppled for to get the chance.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to play a team you lost to,” junior shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg said. “We think it’s a game we ought to have won.”
Every break OU might have received, it received.
It’s natural that the NCAA has given an Oklahoma team the opportunity to win its way back to Oklahoma City, where the regional champion will be decided at Chesapeake Energy Arena on the tourney’s second weekend. If an Oklahoma team can make it back to Oklahoma City, fans are sure to follow.
Still, the selection committee might have given Oklahoma State that chance rather than OU. Instead, the Cowgirls are the No. 7-seed in the Norfolk Regional, taking on DePaul in the first round and, most likely, Duke, should they reach the second. And, should they play Duke in the second round, the Cowgirls will be doing it at Cameron Indoor Stadium, on Duke’s campus, in Durham, N.C.
Part of the reason for OU’s good fortune is how highly the NCAA clearly thinks of the Big 12 this season. Though only No. 1 Baylor is ranked, the conference is sending seven teams to the Big Dance: Baylor, Iowa State, OU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and West Virginia all received bids.
“You look at our record and we’ve taken some lumps and Tech’s taken some lumps, West Virginia (has too) and Kansas,” Coale said. “But there’s great parity in our league and we were rewarded for that in the tournament, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Better than the Sooners might have dreamed.
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