While the Oklahoma women's basketball team was just one seed away from hosting the first two rounds, there's still a chance they will have home court advantage in the tournament. After the first two rounds of play, the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight will both be held at Chesapeake Arena in downtown Oklahoma City. The Sooners have a chance to play just 20 miles away from their home court, which could be a huge advantage for Sherri Coale's team. In a season where Oklahoma was 12-1 at home, this could be huge for the fifth seeded Sooners.
Oklahoma would have to get there by winning their first two games. The first match up is against 12th seed Quinnipiac (31-3, 20-0 MAAC) which should be a fairly close game. The Bobcats haven't lost since December and they're 25th in the RPI rankings but their 236th ranked strength of schedule was not enough in the committee's eyes to put them any higher than a 12 seed. To compare, the Sooners had a 20-11 record but had the seventh toughest schedule. The Sooners should get past their first opponent as long as they don't come out flat on offense as they did against Texas.
In the next round, Oklahoma would play either Stanford or CS Northridge. The fourth seeded Cardinal are 24-9 and will face off against the 13th seed CS Northridge, who are coming off of a Big West conference championship and have not lost in over a month. Stanford finished 13-5 in the Pac-12 and won the conference tournament, defeating Cal in the championship by one point.
The more likely opponent is obviously Stanford, who would be a tough match for Oklahoma. But if the guard play remains consistent throughout the first two games with Peyton Little and Gabbi Ortiz, they have a chance to knock off Stanford.
The first two rounds will be at Stanford's stadium, so if Oklahoma wants to have the home court advantage they have to first beat a team in their own stadium. Which makes their path in the tournament that much more interesting. If they can knock off the Pac-12 champ, then they will get to head back to Oklahoma City for the Sweet 16 and possibly Elite Eight.
The Sooners might have to play Notre Dame and Baylor during that time, two powerhouse teams that are capable of being beaten when the crowd is filled with crimson. Second seed Baylor was defeated by the Sooners in Norman, 68-64 in February. Oklahoma will have to find more magic like that if they hope to ride to the Final Four through Oklahoma City.
Their first game is this Saturday against at 3:00 CT and will be played in Stanford, California.