When Sue Guevara arrived at Central Michigan in 2007, the Chippewas were a struggling program.
Central Michigan had posted just one winning season since 1992-93.
Her first season, the Chippewas were 6-23.
“I knew it was going to be tough, in changing the culture and the perception,” Guevara told the Detroit Free Press recently.
After a few near misses in recent years, Central Michigan is in the NCAA Women's Tournament for the first time since 1984.
No. 6-seed Oklahoma will play No. 11 Central Michigan at 10:10 a.m. Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
Guevara is plenty familiar with Columbus, having served as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 1984-85. She's also been there plenty as an opposing coach, as an assistant at Michigan State (1986-96) and as a head coach at Michigan (1996-2003).
While Central Michigan hasn't been to the tournament in a long time, the Chippewas do have both tournament experience and experience against the Sooners on the roster.
Central Michigan's Jessica Scholl played for Iowa State in the 2010 and 2011 tournaments.
SOONERS EXCITED FOR CHANCE TO COME HOME
The bracket fell about as well as it could've for the Sooners, with a No. 6 seed at a site without a home-court team in the tournament.
And if Oklahoma can get past the first two rounds, which would likely have to include a second-round upset over UCLA, the Sooners will come home to play in Oklahoma City.
“This has been a very rewarding journey,” Sooners coach Sherri Coale said. “We're playing really, really well and then all of the sudden it's (injuries to) Maddie (Manning) and Whitney (Hand) boom boom and everything changes so at Christmas we have to re-evaluate.
“Our goal was to finish in the top three in the league and to get, ironically, an opportunity to play in Oklahoma City. As we stand here now, that's exactly what we did.”
OU guard Aaryn Ellenberg wants another shot at UCLA, which beat the Sooners 86-80 on Nov. 14 in Norman.
“That would be some great basketball,” Ellenberg said. “I don't think we played our best basketball the last time we played them.”
‘A LOT LIKE KANSAS STATE'
Immediately after finding out the Sooners' opponent, Coale was asked which Big 12 team she'd compare the Chippewas to.
She didn't have an answer then, but after watching film on Central Michigan, she came up with one.
“They're a lot like Kansas State,” Coale said. “They don't have a Brittany Chambers, though they do have a very good 3-point shooter.”
Niki DiGuilio is hitting 42 percent (60 of 143) from behind the 3-point line for the Chippewas.