Special Sooner Sports Notebook - NCAA Tournament Edition

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Crimson and Cream Machine: OU vs. Morgan State preview. We are the last game in Kansas City Thursday Night.

In just about 24 hours, the Oklahoma Sooners will compete for a national title. Of course, so will 64 other teams. The Sooners only need to string together six wins to claim the title. They need to perform when it's all on the line, when a loss means that you're eliminated.

"You certainly don't want to take it for granted, and you have to be able to hopefully lay everything out there on the line.  This is something I have talked to our players about.  You don't want to look back, you know, a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now and think about what could have been." --Jeff Capel at Media Day today

Exactly. The good news is that the Sooners have done this already this year. They won the NIT Season Tip Off tournament, in case anyone has forgotten. In that tournament, they only needed 4 wins, but they played against some relatively stiff competition. Purdue was the only team they faced that made it to the Big Dance, but OU beat them on a neutral court far away from home.

That was towards the beginning of the year when the Sooners didn't have athletic shot-blocker Juan Pattillo, and freshman Willie Warren was just getting his feet wet. They managed to find a great chemistry that helped them along to a 25-1 start. Then Blake Griffin suffered a concussion and as Capel has suggested, that knocked them off their stride. Nevertheless, the Sooners are still an athletic, competitive team that with the right amount of rest and the right attitude could do some damage in the tournament.

And with that cheery note, it's time for some notes. First, all the predictions that I could muster:

Oubulletlogo_medium Final Four: Samuel L. Jackson (on Sportscenter), Dwayne Wade (on Sportscenter), Tony Kornheiser (PTI), Nick Fasulo (Searching for Billy Edelin), Blogging The Bracket puts us in the National Championship game.

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Samuel "Coach Carter" Jackson is picking the Sooners to go far.

Oubulletlogo_medium Elite Eight: Julie Chen (CBS Morning Show), Michael Freeman (CBS Sports), kind of Mike DeCourcey (Sporting News), Andy Glockner (Sports Illustrated)

Oubulletlogo_medium Sweet 16: Gary Parrish (CBS Sports), Brian De Los Santos (CBS Sports), Dennis Dodd (CBS Sports), Jerry Palm (Bracketologist), Peter Tiernan (Bracketologist), Barack Obama (President of the United States), Andy Staples (Sports Illustrated)

Oubulletlogo_medium Second Round: Gregg Doyel (CBS Sports), Seth Davis (Sports Illustrated), Tim Layden (Sports Illustrated), Luke Winn (Sports Illustrated), MP (Searching for Billy Edelin)

More good notes after the break! (click the link below)

Oubulletlogo_medium Jason Whitlock of FOX Sports says Oklahoma is a "tournament fraud" and that Jeff Capel can't coach. Maybe he got pulled over on his way down I-35 last weekend or something but those are some pretty harsh words. In any event, low expectations usually breeds tournament success. The teams that everyone picks seem to never make it (or everyone's brackets would be awesome).

Oubulletlogo_medium Google "Morgan State". That sounds like what Blake and Taylor did to research their opponent immediately following the selection show.

Oubulletlogo_medium The guys seem pretty loose based on this practice report. I guess if they're making them from 60 feet out, they must be doing something right.

Oubulletlogo_medium A few people seem to think that OU has a shot of losing to Morgan State, spurned by ESPN Insider's "Giant Killers" piece that gave OU good odds of being upset and Morgan State decent odds of upsetting.

Oubulletlogo_medium Jeff Capel said on the Dan Patrick radio show that if Blake Griffin is the consensus #1 pick he should enter the draft. I'd hate to say it, but I agree. We can't be too selfish.

Remember to watch the game, have fun, relax, and enjoy the madness that is about to unfold in a matter of hours. And as always, Boomer Sooner!

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