NORMAN — Oklahoma groaned. They booed and they even swatted their hands at the television.
While waiting for the announcement of their selection to the tournament, the Sooners were made to sit in front of a live feed, their athletic director and a hoard of media as many highlight films of Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears flashed on the television in Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale's home — and they barely hid their disdain to the team who has beaten them six straight times.
After the brackets of three other regions were ticked off, ESPN announced that No. 6 seed Oklahoma would face No. 11 seed Central Michigan on Saturday morning in the opening round of the Oklahoma City Regional in Columbus, Ohio.
Oklahoma senior Joanna McFarland heard Oklahoma's name announced for the NCAA Tournament last year.
And the year before that. And the year before that.
In fact, Monday's announcement marked the 14th straight time Oklahoma's name has been announced to the postseason tournament — and the fourth straight with McFarland as a player.
Yet she still got nervous.
“It was exciting waiting, but then when we got to our regional, I couldn't even remember who would be a two seed or who would be a three seed,” McFarland said. “I didn't know who we were going to play because I couldn't remember who was actually ranked.”
Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale finds that a good thing.
“I never, ever, ever want them to take it for granted,” Coale said. “There should always be a buzz and an excitement when seeing your name on that bracket line.”
The Sooners cheered, raised their hands, clapped and high-fived each other as they heard their name announced to a game in the Midwest.
“We can still get some sun,” Oklahoma senior Whitney Hand joked.
The selection show started off full of Oklahoma smiles, but they quickly disappeared as the analysts talked incessantly about Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears. The women on the couches in Coale's den grew quiet.
They waited for highlights of themselves but only saw flashes of some. They all seemed to come against Baylor — and one was when Griner blocked a shot that Oklahoma center Nicole Griffin attempted. Griffin shook her head as the scene played on the TV and said, “I'm just trying to get fouled.”
The analysts went on about Griner, asking people to take to Twitter to answer who could beat Baylor.
“Can anyone beat Baylor?” the host said.
“The Miami Heat,” said one of the analysts.
Some of the Oklahoma players pretended to analyze their brackets but senior Morgan Hook turned to fellow senior Whitney Hand and said, “Really?”
Regardless, the Sooners are one of seven Big 12 teams selected. OU was designated to the Oklahoma City Region by the NCAA selection committee, meaning all the Sooners have to do is win their first two games in Columbus and then they'll be back to playing in Oklahoma City.
First, they'll have to beat the Chippewas, who won the Mid-Atlantic Conference Tournament, beating conference No. 1 seed Toledo in the semifinals.
Then, Oklahoma would face the winner of UCLA/Stetson. The Sooners were all smiles after the announcement at a potential shot at the Bruins, who defeated the Sooners on OU's home court back in November.
And if they were to make it to the Elite Eight, they could face Baylor.
“We got to worry about our first two games,” senior Morgan Hook said about the potential of another rematch with Griner & Co. “That's really what's on our mind and then just getting to the Sweet 16. Once we get there, then we'll worry about that.”