The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 11, 2014

Sooners must sweat out their selection

NORMAN — On this coming Monday evening, Oklahoma’s women’s basketball team will gather at coach Sherri Coale’s home to learn of its latest NCAA tournament destination.

Or not.

That’s where the Sooners are this season.

They believe they’re in the tournament for what would be the program’s 15th straight season. They think nine wins in the Big 12 Conference, considered by many the nation’s best and toughest league, makes them a worthy selection.

It’s a thought Coale offered publicly Saturday night following OU’s game with Texas at the Big 12 tournament.

“When you go 9-9 in the No. 1 RPI league in the country, I think you’re in … Our strength of schedule is 16 in the country. I do think we’ve done enough,” she said.

Of course, the reason she ever had to field such a question was that her team had just lost to Texas, suffering its 14th setback of the season, more losses than any Coale-coached team has suffered since the 1998-99 campaign, when OU went 15-14 and finished its season at the WNIT.

The Sooners appear very clearly to be on the NCAA bubble.

In his latest bracketology report, issued Monday, ESPN’s Charlie Creme forecast OU as the No. 10 seed in the Stanford bracket, drawing Middle Tennessee as a first-round opponent in a game to be played March 22 at Durham, N.C.

That would appear to be good news for the program. On the other hand, Creme also listed the Sooners among the last four teams added to his mock bracket, the other three being Vanderbilt, Florida and Florida State.

“The Sooners might have to sweat come Selection Monday after the loss to Texas in the Big 12 tournament,” was the comment Creme reserved for OU with his latest bracket.

Also, OU’s latest official NCAA RPI rating is No. 59, 18 spots behind its nearest Big 12 rival, Iowa State.

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