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2011 NCAA Championship: Charlottesville, Va.

(3) Miami (27-4 Overall, 12-2 ACC)
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(6) Oklahoma (21-11 Overall, 10-6 Big 12)
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(11) James Madison (26-7 Overall, 16-2 CAA)
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(14) Gardner-Webb (23-10 Overall, 11-5 Big South)
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NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma was awarded the No. 6 seed in the Dayton Region of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship and will face 11-seed James Madison in the first round, announced Monday night on the ESPN Women's Selection Show.

OU and James Madison square off in Charlottesville, Va., in the tournament's first round Sunday, March 20, at approximately 1:45 p.m. Central.

"I know they've won a whole bunch of games, a bunch in a row," OU head coach Sherri Coale said of James Madison. "They have a really good little guard who scores a lot of points, shoots a lot of 3s. They're going to be playing close to home. I don't know what their following is like but I'm sure that's got to be a little bit of an advantage."

The advancing team will play the winner of (3) Miami and (14) Gardner-Webb Tuesday at approximately 6 p.m. Central.

The No. 6 seed is the first for 21st-ranked Oklahoma (21-11) that completed its sixth straight 20-win season and makes its 12th consecutive appearance, the eighth longest active streak in the NCAA Championship. The Sooners are 23-8 in the tournament when facing a lower seed.

"We've been 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... I don't know that we've ever been a 6," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "We've been just about every other number and it's all about matchups at the end of the day.

"I look at our 11 losses and the tendency is you want to stand up and scream, `six of them were to the top five in the country!' We've really played a difficult schedule. While you may not be rewarded for it by the number of your seed, you're rewarded for it by the experience you get in those situations.

"We're ready, wherever, whoever. Right now, it's all about James Madison."

James Madison was the automatic qualifier from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and features player of the year candidate Dawn Evans, a 5-7 guard from Clarksville, Tenn., who leads the Dukes with 23.2 points and 4.5 assists per game.

JMU was 26-7 this season and 16-2 in conference play. The Dukes have seven total wins in eight NCAA Championship appearances and were eliminated in the first round last season by Temple.

It will be the first time in postseason play the Sooners will face a CAA squad. OU is 2-1 all-time against the CAA but has not faced an opponent from that conference since Dec. 1996.

OU and James Madison met once before with the Sooners winning a 57-55 battle in Miami, Fla., on Jan. 4, 1986, in the Miami New Year's Classic. Coincidentally, OU defeated Dayton, this year's regional host, the day before but did not play host Miami. Later that season, Oklahoma earned its first NCAA Championship berth and advanced to the Sweet 16.

Led by senior Danielle Robinson, the Sooners look to advance to a third consecutive Final Four.

"Those kids who have been there," Coale said, "they understand what it's like not to play just one more week but to play three more weekends. There is absolutely no substitute for being in that position and understanding all that goes with advancing in the NCAA tournament. We have a nice mix. You could see, sitting in my living room, we have those young guys who are absolutely gitty and freaking out and then you have your seniors who look around each other like, `I like this matchup.' This is good, they get it, they understand how to look at the road. I think that will be a real nice combination as we go into the tournament."

  Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale

On if the team likes its seed and location:
"We do. I don't even really think so much about the location. If you're not hosting, you know, you're in a difficult situation somewhere. So, we'll take it, whoever, wherever, we're ready to go."

On what she knows about James Madison:
"I know they've won a whole bunch of games, a bunch in a row. They have a really good little guard who scores a lot of points, shoots a lot of 3s. They're going to be playing close to home. Don't know what their following is like but I'm sure that's got to be a little bit of an advantage."

On matchups making the difference in the NCAA Championship:
"We've been 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... I don't know that we've ever been a 6. We've been just about every other number and it's all about matchups at the end of the day. I look at our 11 losses and the tendency is you want to stand up and scream, `six of them were to the top five in the country!' We've really played a difficult schedule. While you may not be rewarded for it by the number of your seed, you're rewarded for it by the experience you get in those situations. We're ready, wherever, whoever. Right now, it's all about James Madison."

On what transfers from the last two Final Four seasons:
"Those kids who have been there, they understand what it's like not to play just one more week but to play three more weekends. There is absolutely no substitute for being in that position and understanding all that goes with advancing in the NCAA tournament. We have a nice mix. You could see, sitting in my living room, we have those young guys who are absolutely gitty and freaking out and then you have your seniors who look around each other like, `I like this matchup.' This is good, they get it, they understand how to look at the road. I think that will be a real nice combination as we go into the tournament."

On what it will take for Oklahoma to make a run:
"I don't think it's any secret we have to make shots. We have to make some perimeter baskets. We live and die so much by the jump shot and the 3 in particular. So, those are going to have to go down for us."

  Oklahoma Senior Danielle Robinson

On the matchup:
"We're excited about it. We're going East. I've actually was able to get the chance to meet James Madison's point guard Dawn Evans. She's a great person. Really excited about another opportunity to be in the NCAA tournament."

On meeting JMU's Dawn Evans:
"When was it? Two summers ago, when I went to tryouts (with USA World University Games Team) for Serbia, she was invited. She is very good. All point guards matched up against each other. She's very quick, she has the ability to score at all positions on the floor. It's going to be a tough matchup."

On the seed:
"I think we like it. Any position we get, we're thankful for. It's always an honor to be invited into the NCAA tournament and have this opportunity. We're such a young team, we're definitely excited about where we are."

On ties to the location in Charlottesville, Va.:
"It's actually pretty cool. My parents are from the East Coast so I'll be able to go closer to where they're from and my Godmother actually lives in Virginia."

On if the bracket is favorable for OU:
"I definitely think so. I think we have experience and that is what the NCAA tournament is about, having to handle all the travel. I think leadership will be just fine."

Reflection on last year's Final Four run:
It was just taking it one game at a time. We had the experience from the year before and so we knew what it took. I think that's what great about this season also is we haven't performed that well in the Big 12 Conference, but we have the experience two years in a row, and with that leadership anything can happen."

  Oklahoma Sophomore Whitney Hand

On the matchups:
"A lot of March Madness is where you're put. We're excited about the teams around us. They're going to be difficult. When you're a 6 seed, you're not always playing someone under you, but we're excited to get it started."

On the schedule preparing OU for the NCAA Championship:
"Coach talked today actually about playing the teams we've played, seeing the players out there, the anomalies of basketball that are hard to guard. We've seen pretty much all of that. We haven't played every team, but we see that types of players that play (in the postseason). I think that's definitely served us as great preparation for the tournament because you never know who you're going to go up against."

Reflections on the last to Final Four teams and success carrying over:
"My freshman year, we were definitely the better team and, last year, it was just all heart. It's just kind of encouraging you can do it more than one way. It's kind of who catches fire. We had a quote today (at practice): `Teams don't carry the momentum into the tournament, they build it while in the tournament.' That's our goal. To catch fire and make it as fun as possible."