uot;So when you say rivalry, I guess maybe it is. But the only time we meet is the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight or the Final Four and it’s the NCAA Tournament.”
Those past battles seemed like ancient news to members of both teams. No members of the Sooners remain from that 2006 team, and only senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwunde played in that game for the Cardinal.
Both teams appeared more miffed at the notion that the Final Four had turned into the "Connecticut Invitational” than about ramifications of the previous OU-Stanford series.
It was enough that VanDerveer was compelled to defend her game and its place at the Final Four.
"Well for me, it’s the big game,” she said. "So if we’re the JV game, so be it. We’re going to come out and play the best JV game possible.”
The Sooners are the surprise crashers of the Final Four party after compiling a 27-10 record that matches the record for the most losses by any previous Final Four team. Stanford (35-1) sustained its only loss this season to No. 1-ranked Connecticut.
"People will say what they say. They have their opinions,” OU senior forward Amanda Thompson said. "But I think it just puts us in a great position to change history. Everybody is competing for the championship.”
And for the Sooners, riding the momentum of their unexpected surge to the Final Four, Stanford merely represents the next obstacle to Tuesday night’s title game rather than an old rival.
"We don’t need the support of anybody beyond our Oklahoma circle,” Robinson said. "We’ve been the underdog all season and people didn’t expect us to be here. But now, we’re here.”