By Scott Wright
The meeting of Nos. 3 and 6 seeds in the NCAA Tournament is historically the most highly contested second-round matchup. Entering this year’s Tournament, No. 3 seeds are 26-25 against No. 6s since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Oklahoma hasn’t had much success in the 3-6 game, either. OU is 0-2 as the No. 3 seed, losing to Purdue in 2000 and Utah in 2005. However, OU pulled the upset in 1987, when Billy Tubbs’ team knocked off third-seeded Pitt, 96-93. That is OU’s only previous appearance in the 3-6 matchup as the No. 6 seed.
One other historical trend that could help the Sooners is coaching experience — or lack of it. Sunday will be OU coach Jeff Capel’s third NCAA Tournament game as a coach.“Coaching inexperience actually helps No. 6 seeds in this matchup,” said Pete Tiernan of BracketScience.com. “Sixth-seeded teams with coaches who’ve been to the dance fewer than six times are 16-8. That’s twice as good as the 9-18 record for No. 6 seeds with more veteran coaches.”