OU-Miami a good matchup
The Oklahoma-Miami second round women’s NCAA Tournament game tonight in Charlottesville, Va., should be entertaining.
Both teams like to run. Both teams are among the top scoring teams in the nation.
First one to 80 points wins?
Maybe. Maybe not.
It could be a 76-74 type of game but both teams might get to 80.
Keys to watch for:
1) How does OU handle Miami’s pressure? It’s not just Miami’s full-court press. The Hurricanes try to force mistakes even when the Soones are running their half-court offense.
OU could finish with 20 turnovers and still win if its offense is clicking. But the Sooners can’t afford to give up too many uncontested layups off turnovers.
2) Rebounding. Miami loves to crash the boards. It can lead to some second-chance points. But Miami’s roll-the-dice strategy also can backfire, leading to some easy points for the Sooners. Defend the defensive boards, kick it out and Danielle Robinson and Aaryn Ellenberg could get a few easy layups.
3) Experience. OU definitely owns an edge, having played in the past two Final Fours. But it’s really only three players — Robinson, Carlee Roethlisberger and Whitney Hand (in 2009). Miami reached the WNIT finals a year ago. The Sooners have an edge but it’s not as big an advantage as it appears. In fact, it’s motivated the Hurricanes to try and post a statement win over an elite program.
4) 3-point shooting. When the Sooners are hitting from behind the arc they’re tough to beat. Hand and Ellenberg shoot it quickly. Miami wants to prevent open looks but OU opponents have discovered that’s more difficult than it appears. The Hurricanes can get hot beyond the arc but it’s not a strength.
5) Coaching. Sherri Coale has an edge. She’s won 24 NCAA Tournament games. Katie Meier coahed her first NCAA win at Miami on Sunday. But Meier knows how to use her athletic talent. Coale has an edge but Meier says her team, like the Sooners, studies a lot of film and is much smarter than given credit.
The coaches’ X’s and O’s matchup could play a factor but like most games which players execute their game plan probably will be the difference on which team advances to the Sweet 16 in Dayton.
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