Getting To Know The Opponent: No. 7 San Diego State Vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY - For the first time since 2009, the Oklahoma Sooners are in the NCAA Tournament. For seniors Andrew Fitzgerald and Steven Pledger, it's the first postseason trip of any kind during their four-year career in Norman. Also, OU coach Lon Kruger became the first coach in NCAA history to take five different schools to the NCAA tournament with the Sooners' berth in this year's tournament.
The Sooners drew the No. 10 seed in the South region, which will culminate at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The first opponent for the Sooners will be No. 7 seed San Diego State. The Aztecs finished the season 22-10, going 9-7 in the Mountain West conference this season.
The Aztecs had a couple big wins this season, defeating Colorado State, UCLA, New Mexico and taking two games from Boise State. However, they never materialized into a great team, losing many of their big matchups in conference play, and winning most of the games they should have won against the lesser teams in the Mountain West.
San Diego State isn't a big team, much like the Sooners. Their tallest players run 6-foot-9, but there are several athletic big men that get at least 14 minutes a game. Despite the plethora of athletes in the front court, the Aztecs get most of their scoring from the guard position.
Three guards average 10 points a game, led by all-everything player Jamaal Franklin, a 6-foot-5 guard who leads the Aztecs in scoring (16.7 points per game), rebounding (9.5 per game), assists (3.2 per game) and steals (1.5 per game).
Chase Tapley averages 13.5 points per game and Xavier Thomas averages 9.8 points per game.
The Aztecs, while talented, scored just 69.2 points per game this season and shot 43.8 percent from the floor as a team. The Aztecs also don't have a single player shooting more than 38 percent from 3-point range.
On paper, the Sooners match up well with the Aztecs, and if they are able to contain Franklin, should have a good chance to advance in the tournament.
Should the Sooners advance, they would most likely face Georgetown, one of the best defensive teams in the country. Oklahoma didn't fare well against the other terrific defensive team it faced this season (Stephen F. Austin), so a game against the Hoyas wouldn't be the best scenario for the Sooners.
Overall, the South region is the second-strongest behind the Midwest region. Kansas is the No. 1 seed and it also has Florida, Michigan, VCU and UCLA.
While it's anything but an easy draw, the committee rewarded the solid resume the Sooners put together over the course of the entire season. Not only do the Sooners get to experience the postseason for the first time in four years, but they also have a good chance at winning a game while they're there.