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March 16, 2014

Sooners looking forward to selection

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s season did not end with Thursday’s Big 12 tournament loss to Baylor. There’s still at least one more game to play.

The 17th-ranked Sooners (23-9) find out when and where that will be when the NCAA tournament selection committee announces the field of 68 at 5 p.m. today.

The 12-member committee has been secluded since Wednesday in Indianapolis. Solitude keeps information from leaking out about who is in and who is out.

For OU, that is not a problem. It enters Selection Sunday at No. 28 in the all-important Ratings Percentage Index. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has the Sooners as a No. 5 seed in the East region and heading to Spokane, Wash., for second- and potentially third-round games.

The seed was one Lunardi had pegged before the Big 12 tournament began.

“I don’t think they can fall much below a five (seed),” he said. “I guess they could be a six. I just think they’re really good and ahead of schedule.”

The way OU closed the regular season seems to indicate that’s the case. The play in the conference tournament wasn’t great. But Baylor steam-rolling Texas the following night and reaching the tournament title game seems to aid OU’s cause.

Despite the loss, OU finished second in what’s considered college basketball’s best conference this season. Hard to believe a league as daunting could have a runner-up seeded lower than fifth.

CBS.com’s Jerry Palm has OU as a No. 5 seed as well. He thinks it will be in the South region and open play in San Diego. USA Today also believes the Sooners are heading west. It agrees with Lunardi that OU will be in Spokane next, but as a member of the West region.

None of that was any concern to OU coach Lon Kruger following OU’s abrupt Big 12 tournament exit.

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