MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 18, 2013

Four Oklahoma women’s teams bound for NCAAs


Phoenix staff report

— Four women’s college basketball teams based in Oklahoma received their postseason itinerary on Monday when the National College Athletic Association released the pairings for the Division I women’s national championship tournament.

The University of Oklahoma and Oral Roberts University were placed in the Oklahoma City regional but will play their first-round games in different locales. OU (22-10) is seeded No. 6 and faces Central Michigan (21-11) at 11 a.m. Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, while the Golden Eagles, 18-12 and No. 15 in the regional and winners of the Southland Conference’s automatic bid, travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to play host No. 2 Tennessee (24-7) on Saturday, 30 minutes after the game between No. 7 Syracuse (24-7) and No. 10 Creighton (24-7)  which begins at 11 a.m..

 “I’m very excited with a 6 seed and very proud of the representation of the Big 12 Conference in the NCAA Tournament, “ Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.  “That’s amazing and, I think, because of the respect the committee had for the league, that’s probably why we got the seed we did. “

Tulsa, which captured the Conference USA’s tournament title on Saturday, was placed in the Spokane, Wash., regional. The Golden Hurricane (16-16) are No. 16 in the regional and meets No. 1 seed Stanford (31-2) on Stanford’s home floor in Palo Alto, Calif., at 2 p.m. Sunday.

 “We were so surprised that our name came up first. It was kind of a shock, you see Stanford and then Tulsa. It’s almost like you don’t know how to react, “ said Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman.  “While we were hoping for a 15-seed, we were expecting a 16-seed, so it’s not a surprise. Going to Palo Alto for the NCAA tournament is a reward for our players for everything that they’ve worked for all year long. “

Oklahoma State (21-10), who won the Women’s National Invitational Tournament last season, earned the No. 7 seed in the Norfolk, Va., regional and meets No. 10 DePaul (21-11) in Durham, N.C., on Sunday, 30 minutes after the game between No. 2 Duke (30-2) and No. 15. Hampton (28-5) which tips off at noon.

 “It’s really nice to see your name come up. It’s been a few years since we’ve been to the NCAA Tournament, “ said OSU coach Jim Littell.  “I’m very proud of the ladies and what they’ve accomplished the last couple of years. This is just a nice progression for our program to get here."