OU Deserves National Seed?

National critics have really been hammering the Big 12 for some of the advantages they have gotten as a result of the NCAA selections for the regionals.

Oklahoma State didn't even make the conference tournament and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Baylor, even though they posted a 2-1 mark at Bricktown last weekend, was only 10-16 in regular season conference play and only a few games over .500 overall, and they received an at-large bid.

Texas, although the Big 12 champion, was the fifth ranked team in the final Baseball America poll prior to the seedings and received the No. 1 national seed.

And despite a 1-2 showing in the conference tournament, OU received the No. 7 national seed over many other teams that people outside Big 12 land felt deserved the spot.

But the Sooners realize the magnitude of their situation—they get to host a regional but must win it in order to get the ultimate prize of the national seed that might lead to the ultimate prize, a trip to Omaha.

"Our young men went out and earned the national seed and that's very apparent through their body of work all year," said head coach Sunny Golloway. "But, you know what, your national seed will mean nothing, you have got to win your first round to be able to be home for the super regional and the home field advantage for the super regional."

Golloway has stressed that to his players, and they understand that as well.

"We've got to take care of business this weekend first before we can get the next one," said senior catcher J.T. Wise.

It's an ironic situation for OU, considering they were a controversial team just to make the field of 64 last year.

Now, the Sooners are a controversial team ranked as one of the best eight in the nation.

"We knew that we were going to make the tournament this year, [but] we didn't know about a national seed or anything like that," Wise said. "So, we were fortunate enough to get our name called for a national seed. I mean, that's a big advantage for us and, you know, our fan support, and we're just really looking forward to it."

As for the controversy resulting from it, the Sooners admit they realized it was going to be close whether or not they would receive the national seed, but they point out several things as justification for earning the national seed.

These include the Sooners' sixth ranked strength of schedule, a No. 16 RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) and a 6-6 record against teams currently ranked in the top 25.

"I think they looked at our season as a whole and saw that, you know, we deserved it," said junior center fielder Jamie Johnson. "It could have went either way. They [ESPN commentators] were talking about, you know, we were a bubble team [as a national seed]. I guess what we did, they gave us credit for it."

Now, OU must take advantage of it.


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