It was a historic year for women's basketball in the state of Oklahoma. All four Division I programs made the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever, as OU and OSU earned at-large bids while Oral Roberts and Tulsa won their respective conference tournaments to earn automatic bids.
But the fun didn't end there, as all four teams made some noise once they arrived at the dance. OU defeated Central Michigan and UCLA to advance to the Sweet 16, OSU downed DePaul before losing a heartbreaker to the No. 2 seed Duke, Tulsa managed to play No. 1 seed Stanford to a halftime tie and ORU put up a great fight against Tennessee. Fans of all four programs have reason to be proud.
The Sooners have won 11 games in a row and are now 23-4 on the season. It's the second double-digit winning streak of the season for OU, which swept TCU this week to open 3-0 in Big 12 play. Up next is a three-game series with Kansas, and a sweep of the Jayhawks would mean a 14-game run entering a huge four-game stretch against Oklahoma State and Texas.
The Big East
TU's move to the Big East doesn't come as a surprise, but rather more of an "about time." Conference USA has been a sinking ship for a few years now, and TU just bailed out. The Big East will allow much more television exposure for TU's athletics, especially the football team that spent last season dominating many of the opponents they'll be joining in the new conference.
The Not So Good
Thunder vs. Nuggets
The curse of Rocky the Mascot. Ever since Russell Westbrook decided to play games and pick on the Nuggets' mascot back on Jan. 20, OKC is 0-3 against Denver with their most recent loss coming at home by double-digits. If you're not the type to believe in curses, you can place your faith in the fact that the Nuggets just keep getting better and the Thunder has struggled to match their energy and toughness in recent meetings. This series used to be lopsided in favor of the Thunder, but it appears the tables have turned.
The NCAA informed the University of Tulsa last week that receiver Bryan Burnham will not receive a sixth season of eligibility. Burnham tore his ACL in last season's opener at Iowa State and didn't play the rest of the season. TU says it will appeal the NCAA's decision, but it appears, at least for now, that Burnham has played his final college game.
Early Tournament Exits For Big 12
With the basketball success of OSU and OU this year, the entire state had March Madness fever. The fifth-seeded Cowboys drew a vastly under-seeded Oregon team in the first round, while the Sooners earned a 10 seed and faced a scrappy San Diego State squad.
Only problem is, neither team lasted long. OSU got dominated from start to finish while OU was outscored 39-22 in the second half en route to a 15-point loss. On top of that, Kansas State lost to 13-seed La Salle, while Iowa State at least took down Notre Dame before falling to Ohio State in the round of 32. Outside of Kansas, the Big 12 finished the Tourney with a 1-4 record.
That is, unless you were all aboard the Florida Gulf Coast and La Salle bandwagons. In that case, more power to ya.