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.