Dance Card: Oklahoma, Big XII at-large

Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

I'll lay off the puns for this one.

Who? The Sooners of Oklahoma.

What? I have never understood why Oklahoma glamorizes the people who jumped the gun when Oklahoma was opened up to white settlement. But Boomer and Sooner and the Sooner Schooner are pretty awesome symbols.

Where? Norman, Oklahoma, a Fair Trade town.

When? March 23rd, in Columbus, Ohio.

Why? Solid record, solid numbers, good RPI and SOS.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? Predicted to finish second in the conference, they finished tied for third with Texas Tech and claimed the third seed on tiebreakers.

RPI: 30

SOS: 27

Record: 22-10 (11-7 Big XII)

Good wins: Marist, maybe?

Bad losses: At Kansas doesn't look great right now.

Who's running this show? Sherri Coale, since 1996. She writes a very interesting blog on Oklahoma's site.

Extra, Extra! The Tulsa World and The Oklahoman.

Oh, man, I forgot how much I appreciated Oklahoma putting weight on the roster stats.

To say that depth has been an issue for the Sooners would be a slight understatement- they've brought in two volleyball players just to make muster. But it seems to have brought them together and given them grit- witness that ridiculous 22-point comeback against West Virginia in the Big XII tournament. But will they be able to get through the two-games-in-three-days format, even with a week between sites?

Junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg leads the way with 18.5 points per game, including 41.5% shooting from downtown. Junior center Nicole Griffin, at 6-6, is a big target in the middle and puts up 11.8 points per game, while senior forward Joanna McFarland (of the Big XII McFarlands; her sisters played for Kansas State and Colorado) is a bruising game-changer with an uncanny knack for hitting threes.

Statistical intersection: depth is even more of an issue when the five starters have 16 DQs among them. The Sooners will have to manage their fouls very carefully.

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