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OU baseball earns No. 9 overall seed, hosting Norman Regional for NCAA Tournament

NORMAN — OU baseball's anticipation during the NCAA baseball tournament selection show Monday morning turned into brief disappointment when it was announced the Sooners were omitted from the top-eight national seeds list.

Throughout the week, OU was projected in the top eight by every major outlet until it fell to Oklahoma State 9-3 in the Big 12 tournament title game. Still, the Sooners were projected by some to potentially host both a regional and super regional.

Instead, OU was selected as the No. 9 overall seed and will host Duke, UConn and Oral Roberts, which it will face at 6 p.m. Friday at L. Dale Mitchell Park on ESPN+. The Blue Devils are a tough draw for the Sooners as they finished 39-18 and were projected as a potential regional host.

The team's disappointment was short lived. Following the selection show and a brief team picture, it was all business for coach Skip Johnson's team.

"We can't control that, we only can control what we can control," Johnson said. "That's going out and playing it one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. I'm extremely excited that we're playing a regional at our field and looking forward to that opportunity."

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Jun 25, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Skip Johnson looks over the field before the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Charles Schwab Field.
Jun 25, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Skip Johnson looks over the field before the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Charles Schwab Field.

There is some familiarity in the Norman Regional for OU. Former Sooners infielder Wallace Clark, a member of the 2022 College World Series team, plays for Duke.

OU also run-ruled Oral Roberts 10-0 in seven innings in a midweek home game March 26 and fell to the Golden Eagles 3-1 in a road midweek game April 30. ORU made an historic run to the CWS in Omaha, Nebraska, last season.

"(Oral Roberts) is good," Johnson said. "I liked it. They're a good team, well coached. They're playing really good late and it's gonna be fun. It's gonna be exciting, hopefully we can have big crowds, barbecue pits out there, smoke going everywhere. It's an extremely exciting opportunity for a young team. (Duke) is a good program, when you get in a regional, you never know what's going to happen."

No Big 12 team was selected as a top-eight seed. Only six Big 12 teams made the field of 64, with Cincinnati, Kansas and TCU left out, potentially indicating the committee's reasoning for ranking OU No. 9.

The Sooners won the Big 12 by three games, sweeping six conference opponents.

"I was a little bit shocked that TCU didn't get in," Johnson said. "I mean Kansas is really good team. I was kind of shocked that they didn't get in as well. So, it is what it is. We're not in the Big 12 anymore. We're moved on from that and we'll see what happens from here on."

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While OU didn't receive the seeding it hoped for, it will host a regional in Norman for the first time since 2010.

"That's nothing that we need to worry about at all anyways," Sooners infielder Michael Snyder said. "The fact that we're hosting is a huge deal and we're really excited about that."

While they were quickly replaced by applause when OU's regional opponents were announced, groans from missing out on a top-eight seed echoed through the MidFirst Bank East Club inside Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during the Sooners' watch party.

OU is fully focused on its opponents now, but after a 20-5 end to a remarkable regular season, the road to the College World Series not running through Norman stings.

"Hopefully, they are disappointed," Johnson said. "That's what you want. Maybe they can prove it to everybody else. That's what we've been doing since I've been here, proving to everybody else that we're worthy of playing and I think that's a big thing. You've just got to go out and prove yourself every time you walk out on the field, you're proving to yourself how good a player you are."

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(No. 9) Norman Regional schedule

Double elimination at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman.

Friday, May 31

  • Game 1: Duke vs. UConn, noon

  • Game 2: Oklahoma vs. Oral Roberts, 6 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

  • Game 3: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 2 p.m.

  • Game 4: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 2

  • Game 5: Winner G3 vs. Loser G4, 2 p.m.

  • Game 6: Winner G4 vs. Winner G5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 3

  • Game 7: Winner G6 vs. Loser G6 (if necessary), TBD

(Times subject to change for TV purposes)

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU baseball earns No. 9 seed in NCAA Tournament: See bracket, schedule