Sooners Bubble team, but deserve to Dance

Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

Sherri Coale's sooners rock one of the nation's toughest schedules, because of that reason, they're going to be sweating out Selection Monday.

It's been 15 years since a Sherri Coale led Oklahoma Sooners missed the Women's NCAA Tournament.

They'll sweat it out come selection Monday, March 17th.

"Well, I think we've done enough to get in, Coale said. "I do. When you go 9-9 in the No. 1 RPI league in the country, I think you're in."

The Sooners according to Charlie Creme's latest Bracketology has the Sooners as one of the last four teams getting into the big dance. Oklahoma has a solid resume getting in, but bad losses and inconsistency has kept the Sooners on the brink of elimination.

According to Jeff Sagarin ratings, the Sooners rank 20th. That calculates in everything altogether, strength of schedule, record, record against Top 25 and Top 50. That is a good sign for the Sooners. However, against the Top 25, Sooners are just 4-10. They're just 2-6 against the Top 25 at home. Which isn't a good thing. Home losses can hurt you more, because you're usually favored at home.

However, the strength of schedule for the Sooners, 10th strongest in the country, could play in a huge factor for Oklahoma.

"Are there any major BCS leagues that play each other twice," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey asked. "We might be the only two leagues, this league and that one that do it. But what you hope happens is the selection committee understands, wow, let's look at this league they're in and how tough it is and give us a lot of good seeds."

The tournament committee also looks at how youv'e done in the last 10 games, where the Sooners are just a 4-6 in their last 10 games, including the Big 12 Tournament. Included in those 10 games are four Top 25 teams, and four more Top 50 schools.

There is a lot of potential on this Sooners squad, but just haven't been able to put it together throughout the season, and Coale knows this. She has talked about it numerous times. She puts a lot of the blame on herself, but with this strong group of seniors, they don't want to leave it all in the Big 12 Tournament, they want a shot at the big dance.

"From top to bottom," West Virginia head coach, Mike Carey said. "The Big 12 is the strongest conference I ever coached in, from top to bottom. There's just not a lot of off nights."

History has shown if you go .500 or better in this conference, you get to go dancing. Kansas, last year went 9-9 in the conference and ended up in the Sweet 16. The last team that went 9-9 in the conference and didn't make the tournament was Kansas State and Nebraska in the 2005-06 season. Just continues to exemplify the strength and consistency that the Big 12 Conference has over the years.

That's something Coale and the Sooners will be banking on when the names are called. Oklahoma has the name, and the recognition. On Monday, March 17th, we'll see if they have the resume to let them play for a chance at a national championship.

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