DePaulWomensHoops.comNo. 23 DePaul Draws Oklahoma in NCAA Tournament Opener
March 12, 2018
CHICAGO – BIG EAST regular-season and tournament champion DePaul (26-7) makes its 16th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament when the Blue Demons face first-round opponent Oklahoma (16-14) at 11 a.m. Friday in College Station, Texas.
The game will be televised on ESPN2.
DePaul is a No. 5 seed in the Spokane (Wash.) Region as announced on Monday night’s NCAA Selection Special televised by ESPN. Texas A&M (24-9) is the No. 4 seed and will open up against No. 13 Drake (26-7) with the winners advancing to Sunday’s second round. First and second-round games will be played in College Station.
This will be a rematch of the Blue Demons’ showdown with then No. 21 Oklahoma on Nov. 13 at McGrath-Phillips Arena when Amarah Coleman hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 111-108 victory in overtime. DePaul is currently ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The last time DePaul and Oklahoma met in the NCAA Tournament was March 22, 2014 in the first round at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Blue Demons came away with a 104-100 win. It was the highest-scoring regulation game in NCAA Women’s Tournament history.
The Blue Demons have a 2-1 record against the Sooners. The loss came on Nov. 12, 2006 by a score of 105-71 in Norman, Okla. at the State Farm Tipoff Classic.
Coach Doug Bruno’s program has won five consecutive BIG EAST Conference regular-season titles and three BIG EAST Tournament crowns in the last five years. The Blue Demons will be riding a six-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament and have won 12 of their last 13 games.
DePaul is one of only six teams in the country to appear in the last 16 NCAA Tournaments, joining an elite group that includes Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
Last season, No. 7 seed DePaul defeated No. 10 Northern Iowa 88-67 in the NCAA first round at Starkville, Miss. behind Tanita Allen’s 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting that included 5-of-6 from three-point range. This year, her team has already rewritten the school records for three-pointers (398) and attempts (1,104) in a season.
The Blue Demons ran into powerful No. 2 seed Mississippi State in the second round and lost 92-71 after being within one point at halftime. Jessica January led DePaul with 18 points and nine assists while Brooke Schulte scored 16 points. Mississippi State went on to upset UConn at the Women’s Final Four before losing to South Carolina in the title game.