NORMAN — Though they lost Monday at Baylor, the Oklahoma women have still completed the work they had to complete beginning last week.
Now 17-12 overall and 8-8 in Big 12 Conference play, the Sooners enter their final two regular season games with a chance to secure their 15th straight trip to the NCAA tournament, bolster that seed from the 8-9 position to something better and build momentum toward the postseason, which begins with the Big 12 tournament March 7-10 in Oklahoma City.
At the beginning of last week, OU was faced with the task of winning four of its last five regular season games to not fret about its March Madness entry.
Now, after beating Texas and Kansas, their NCAA RPI is up to No. 36 with a boost sure to come just for playing the sixth-ranked Lady Bears, OU may have nothing to worry about if it can only defeat Texas Tech Monday in Norman.
Still, one more road victory sure couldn’t hurt.
Meanwhile, despite it being a longshot, TCU probably hasn’t given up on the NCAA tournament either. At 15-13 overall and 6-10 in the conference, the Horned Frogs would become an interesting team if it could beat OU tonight, beat Kansas State in Manhattan on Monday and win a couple games at the conference tournament.
In addition to their RPI rising, the Sooners are also moving up in ESPN women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme’s forecast.
The last time around, they were thought to be a No. 9 seed in the Lincoln Regional by way of Seattle. Now, they’re being forecast as a No. 8 seed in the Louisville Regional, by way of Storrs, Conn.
Also, OU once again has the services of leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg, who returned to the court Monday at Baylor and finished with 29 points, her second highest total of the season, and five assists.