Women’s basketball TV analyst Debbie Antonelli speaks so highly of OU forward Amanda Thompson’s improved play this season that she placed her in a special category in her Big 12 postseason awards. Antonelli, the analyst on ESPN2’s coverage of the Kansas City Regional on Sunday night, said Thompson was more deserving than just a spot on her all-screener team, all- toughness team or all-under-the-radar team, which were announced on FSN’s Big 12 tournament coverage. "Amanda kept coming up in every category, so I made her own team — the Amanda Thompson team,” said Antonelli, who has broadcast nine OU games this season. "She deserved it because she’s tough, she can screen and she’s under the radar.” Antonelli praised OU coach Sherri Coale for making better use of Thompson’s talents as a power forward in the Sooners’ triangle offense following the departure of the Paris twins. Thompson has responded by averaging 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds a game with 63 steals and 43 blocks. "She might be one of the best players inside 15 feet in our game this year,” Antonelli said. That’s high praises from Antonelli, a former N.C. State standout and the nation’s most prolific women’s basketball analyst. She works about 95 women’s games a season, including WNBA, while raising three sons (ages 15, 12 and 8) in Mount Pleasant, S.C. "It’s rocking and rolling all the time,” she said of her household. "I say my hair’s on fire.” Antonelli said the third-seeded Irish led by freshman guard Sklar Diggins, will be a tough test again for the Sooners. Notre Dame beat OU, 81-71, in the Virgin Islands. "Notre Dame is solid in all five positions,” said Antonelli, who has broadcast four Irish games. "There’s not any flash to them, which I mean as a compliment. They are fundamentally strong, well-coached and very guard oriented. At this time of year, you have to have excellent guard play.” In the second regional semifinal game, Antonelli called Big 12 champ Nebraska the favorite to beat Kentucky in a Big 12-SEC battle. The Big 12 and SEC tied with four teams each in the Sweet 16. "I’m very excited the Big 12 could get four in, because in the last few years they’ve had some early exits,” she said. In Kansas City, Antonelli will team with play-by-play announcer Pam Ward and sideline reporter Beth Mowins as ESPN’s only all-female broadcast team in the regionals. She has worked a lot with both announcers, and even hosts a weekly 30-minute podcast with Mowins, "Shootaround with Beth and Debbie,” at www.wbca.org.