Austin: Welcome Back for the Second Round

By Jean Neuberger - March 19, 2007

We welcome you back to the Frank Erwin in the center of Austin, Texas for tonight's second round showdowns in the NCAA Tournament. We'll dish out tickets to Dayton and Fresno tonight, and we'll start with a highly anticipated matchup, as Sherri Coale's Oklahoma Sooners take on Terri Mitchell's Marquette Golden Eagles.

It's been a tough road to get here for both teams, and me as well! After weaving through heavy Austin traffic, I managed to make it just in time to see the teams warm up! While stuck on the I-35 bridge, I watched Mack Brown lead his football Longhorns through spring training. There were water bottles being handed out like crazy after every snap, as it was 81 degrees out and the humidity made it feel like a sauna outside.

Thankfully, tonight we're all in the cool, drafty conditions of the Erwin Center.

Marquette's section is small, but very lively, waving yellow pom pons and cheering like there's no tomorrow. Who knows, there might not be a tomorrow in their season after tonight. However, don't tell Marquette that. This team is very loose on the floor right now...laughing, smiling, and very crisp in warm-ups. This team is playing with nothing to lose, and that could be a thorn in OU's side.

However, I've watched OU's women play five times this season. They've 5-0 while I've been in attendance. OU is a mature team with tons of talent inside and out. They believe in each other, and more importantly, they believe in anything Sherri Coale tells them to do. They're a close knit bunch, and it shows in everything they do. Beating the Sooners tonight will be one daunting task for Marquette to take on.

KEY OF THE GAME: The shooting of Leah Rush and Jenna Plumley. There is no doubt that Marquette will use its size to contain Courtney Paris as much as humanly possible, very similar to what SEMO did on Saturday. Therefore, Paris is going to kick it out to the perimeter a lot, and if Rush and Plumley are shooting lights out, as they did the last two games, OU will roll. If they don't, expect a very tight game and a potential upset tonight.

The starting lineups are about to be announced....we are set to go in Austin!

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 07:08 PM on March 19, 2007

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