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Dean's Blog: Sooners In Columbus As Tourney Tips Off

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It's tourney time! First games about to tip across the country. But games don't begin until tomorrow here in Columbus. Oklahoma is about to practice in a closed session then head over to the arena for its media session and quasi-workout that is open to the public.

The Soooners roll in with a so-so record but from a heave-ho conference – 19-8, 10-5 in Big 12 play. The league landed three No. 3 seeds and will have to really get after it to live up to the expectations. OU has played thirteen games against Top 25 competition, which should come in handy.

The Albany Great Danes are coming off winning the American East Conference Tournament. They've won 19 of their last 20, including their last six games. However, they played a schedule ranked 297th.

The Sooners cannot overlook this outstanding defensive oriented team that won't be overwhelmed with this being their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth since 2006.

One of the biggest culprits for Oklahoma throughout this season has been a tendency to not come out focused and alert from the tip. If that happens against these hound dogs we could see another embarrassing early exit.

But this Sooner team appears to be very hungry right now and I expect them to come ready to play. The memory of their close loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 semis is fresh on their minds, along with the humiliation of being bounced in their first NCAA Tournament game last season.

If you can't get up for the Big Dance you might not have a heart rate. And if you don't have a heart rate, it's been good knowing you!

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