Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway said the Big 12 tournament pales compared to what residents in Moore are going through. The tournament was delayed for 3 1/2 hours because of early morning rain showers.
“When I woke up about 6:15 (a.m.) and I heard rain hitting the window I was sick to my stomach because I thought to myself, ‘How are they going to continue the cleanup?'” Golloway said. “It wasn't about what's going to happen to baseball. Being very candid I could care less what happens to baseball ...”
“Mayor Mick Cornett and his words before the game were a tribute to Oklahoma. But I also thought it was a great learning opportunity for the athletes on the field to hear his words of encouragement and why we're playing ... And he had a pretty good fastball.”
Oklahoma players wear special T-shirts
OU players wore sky blue T-shirts to the postgame news conference that they wore under their jerseys. The shirts featured the state of Oklahoma with the word HOME, the O replaced by the logo on the state flag.
“It's kind of a haven for us to be able to come out and play baseball but your mind never gets off it,” Golloway said. “The helicopters are going over so we're thinking about our shirts, which make a statement for themselves.
“This is our home. Those are our family, those are our friends. My grandson is a Moore resident with my daughter and son-in-law so it really hit home.”
Big 12 baseball underrated?
The theme all week from Big 12 coaches has been just because the conference doesn't have a dominant team, it doesn't mean it's a down year. Baylor coach Steve Smith said because of lower than usual RPIs, a Big 12 team might be seed fourth at a regional.
“That would be somebody's nightmare if they think there's a four seed coming out of this league,” Smith said. “I would have even said the same thing about Texas (that didn't qualify for the Big 12 tournament).
“The question I would ask is would Texas have finished last in the SEC, the ACC or Pac-12? I think the answer is ‘Absolutely not.' The league is really good. It's really good on the mound. You can't make these (NCAA bids) off a piece of paper. The RPIs do not reflect the quality of play in this league.”
Jayhawks end 6-game skid
Kansas (32-24) entered the Big 12 tournament on a six-game losing streak after winning six in a row. The Jayhawks opened pool play Thursday night with a 7-2 win over West Virginia.
“After we won a couple against in-state rival Wichita State and swept Baylor, I thought we played our way into the (NCAA) tournament,” said KU coach Ritch Price. “Then we lost two tough ones at Kansas State to put us on the bubble.
“We knew we played our way out with those two devastating losses last week at Utah after finals week. We came here with the goal to play our way back in.”