MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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March 18, 2013

Four Oklahoma women’s teams bound for NCAAs

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."

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