Sooners Prepped for Wolverines

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 2 Seed Oklahoma (28-5) vs. No. 10 Seed Michigan (21-13) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Saturday, March 21 at approximately 4:50 p.m. CDT

 Location  Kansas City, Mo. | Sprint Center
 Series History  Michigan leads 2-0



 Sooner Radio Network
 KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa
 Sirius 126

 Online Coverage   Live Blog | Video Live Video | Live Stats | NCAA Central
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Picking up his second NCAA Tournament win as a head coach on Thursday, Jeff Capel will lead No. 2 seed Oklahoma (28-5 overall) into a second-round matchup against No. 10 seed Michigan (21-13) on Saturday at approximately 4:50 p.m. CDT.  The contest, which will be played at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., will start 30 minutes following the completion of the 2:20 p.m. Memphis-Maryland contest.

OU is coming off an 82-54 win over No. 15 seed Morgan State, while Michigan knocked off No. 7 seed Clemson by a 62-59 score.

All of OU's NCAA Tournament games will air live on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City) with Bob Barry, Sr. (play-by-play) and Mike Houck (analyst) calling the action.  Saturday's contest will be televised regionally by CBS (KWTV Channel 9 in OKC and KOTV Channel 6 in Tulsa) with Tim Brando and Mike Gminski announcing.

• OU is making its 26th NCAA Tournament appearance and 13th in the last 15 years.  It owns a 33-25 all-time record in the event.
• Oklahoma's 22 NCAA Tournament appearances over the last 27 years are tied for the nation's sixth most during the span (only Arizona, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana have made more).
• The Sooners have made four Final Four appearances (1939, 1947, 1988 and 2002).  They played in the 1947 and 1988 national championship games.
• Oklahoma is now 10-5 in its last six NCAA Tournaments, with a Final Four showing in 2002 and an Elite Eight appearance in 2003.
• OU is now 6-2 as the No. 2 seed.  In 1984, the Sooners lost to No. 10 seed Dayton (89-85).  In 2002, they beat No. 15 seed Illinois-Chicago (71-63), No. 7 seed Xavier (78-65), No. 3 seed Arizona (88-67) and No. 12 seed Missouri (81-75) to advance to the Final Four where it lost to No. 5 seed Indiana (73-64).

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
 2008-09 Stats
 Blake Griffin
 22.1 ppg, 14.3 rpg, 64.3 FG%
 Taylor Griffin
 9.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 54.9 FG%
 Tony Crocker
 9.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 35.6 3FG%
 Willie Warren


 14.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, 37.7 3FG%
 Austin Johnson
 8.7 ppg, 3.9 apg, 34.2 3FG% 

• Oklahoma posted an 82-54 win over No. 15 seed Morgan State behind a season-high .604 field goal effort (the third-best in OU's NCAA Tournament history).  The Sooners, whose only deficit was 3-2, held the Bears to an opponent-season-low .286 field goal mark.
• Blake Griffin (28 points on 11-for-12 shooting) and Taylor Griffin (18 points on 7-for-8 shooting) combined for 46 points and an 18-for-20 (.900) field goal performance.  Blake Griffin added 13 rebounds for his nation-leading 27th double-double of the season.  Taylor Griffin's 18 points tied for his third highest total of the year, while his four steals (all in the first half) were one shy of a career high.
• With his 10 free throws, Blake Griffin broke Stacey King's OU record for attempts in a season (294 in 1988-89).  Griffin has 296.
• Willie Warren netted 16 points for his highest output in five games.  He made two of OU's four 3-pointers and added four assists.
• The Sooners posted a 45-36 rebounding advantage.  Twenty of Morgan State's boards came on the offensive end, however, and the Bears outscored OU 22-8 in second-chance points.
• Oklahoma went 20-for-32 at the free throw line while Morgan State went 4-for-8.
• Austin Johnson, who leads OU in assists on the year, recorded a team-high five handouts (his most in six contests).
• OU committed 15 turnovers to Morgan State's seven, but both teams scored eight points off turnovers.
• The 28-point margin of victory was OU's largest in an NCAA Tournament contest since a 124-81 win over Louisiana Tech in 1989 (a span of 29 NCAA Tournament games).

The Sooners are 0-2 all-time against Michigan.  The Sooners and Wolverines first met on Nov. 27, 1988, in the championship game of the Maui Classic with third-ranked Michigan posting a 91-80 win over fourth-ranked OU.  Michigan, which went on to win the national title that season, was led by Rumeal Robinson's 20 points and Sean Higgins' 19.  Stacey King paced OU with 27 points while Tyrone Jones added 18.  The programs met again in the 2004 NIT second round in Ann Arbor with the Wolverines earning a 63-52 victory.  Dion Harris scored a team-high 17 points for U-M while Brandon Foust led the Sooners with 14.

Oklahoma's last NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City prior to Thursday was for the 1988 national title.  The top-seeded Sooners lost to No. 6 seed Kansas, 83-79, at Kemper Arena after beating the Jayhawks twice earlier that season.  Billy Tubbs' Sooners beat fellow No. 1 seed Arizona in the semifinals two days earlier, 86-78.  That OU squad featured three future first-round NBA Draft picks in Harvey Grant (1988), Mookie Blaylock (1989) and Stacey King (1989).

• OU went 10-4 against 2009 NCAA Tournament teams during the regular season.  The wins came against No. 5 seeds Purdue and Utah, No. 7 seed Texas, No. 8 seed Oklahoma State (twice), No. 9 seed Texas A&M (twice), No. 10 seed USC, No. 11 seed VCU and No. 14 seed American.  The losses came to No. 3 seeds Kansas and Missouri, No. 7 seed Texas and No. 8 seed Oklahoma State.
• The Sooners did not play any teams this season that are competing in the South Regional.

 Sooner to Watch 

 Blake Griffin | So. | Forward
 • Big 12 Player of the Year
 • Averaging 25.7 points and 18.0 rebounds over his last six full games (shooting .709).
 • Leads nation in rebounding (14.3) and double-doubles (27)
 • Ranks No. 3 nationally in FG percentage (.643) and 13th in scoring (22.1 ppg)
• Has double-doubles in 13 of last 14 games


• This is the third NCAA Tournament for Jeff Capel as a head coach.  In 2004 (his second year at VCU), Capel guided the Rams to a No. 13 seed and a near upset of No. 4 seed Wake Forest.  The Demon Deacons, who featured point guard Chris Paul, held on for a 79-78 win in Raleigh, N.C.  Last year, in his second season at Oklahoma, Capel guided the sixth-seeded Sooners to a 72-64 first-round win over No. 11 seed Saint Joseph's in Birmingham, Ala., before losing to No. 3 seed Louisville by a 78-48 score.
• Capel participated in three NCAA Tournaments as a player at Duke, including his freshman year in 1994 when the second-seeded Blue Devils advanced to the national title game.  Capel, who started the contest, finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists in a 76-72 loss to No. 1 seed Arkansas in Charlotte, N.C.
• Capel's 1996 Duke squad (No. 8 seed) lost in the first round to No. 9 seed Eastern Michigan (75-60 in Indianapolis) while his 1997 team (No. 2 seed) beat No. 15 seed Murray State (71-68 in Charlotte) before falling in the second round to No. 10 seed Providence (98-87).

• Give the Sooners their fourth Sweet 16 appearance in their last nine NCAA Tournaments (over the last 11 years).
• Result in OU's eighth Sweet 16 appearance since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
• Improve OU's NCAA Tournament record to 11-5 since the start of the 2002 event.
• Improve the Sooners' NCAA Tournament record as a No. 2 seed to 7-2.
• Give the Sooners their first ever win against Michigan (they are 0-2) and their second against a Big Ten team this year (they beat Purdue in the NIT Season Tip-Off title game in November).

OU Fast Fact 
This marks OU's 27th postseason appearance (22 NCAA Tournament and five NIT showings) in the last 28 years.  No other Division I program in the country has more postseason appearances over the last 28 campaigns.

• Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, No. 2 seeds have posted a 94-4 (.959) record in first-round play (through Thursday) and a 60-32 (.652) mark in second-round games.
• The Big 12 Conference went 3-0 in Thursday NCAA Tournament action.  No. 9 seed Texas A&M beat No. 8 seed BYU (79-66) and No. 7 seed Texas defeated No. 10 seed Minnesota (76-62).
• Oklahoma is shooting a Big 12-best .492 from the field.  The last time OU shot better for an entire season was 22 years ago (.495 in 1987-88).  The Sooners have shot at least .500 from the field in nine of the last 14 games (.515 combined over those 14 outings).
• OU is holding opponents to a .394 field goal mark on the season, the program's lowest figure in 48 years (.377 in 1960-61).
• Oklahoma has held 15 of its 33 opponents to a sub-.400 field goal mark (13 of them under a .360 figure).
• Blake Griffin is averaging 25.7 points and 18.0 rebounds over his last six full games (not including the Feb. 21 Texas game when he played 11 minutes).  He is 61-for-86 (.709) from the field in those six outings.
• Discounting the aforementioned game at Texas, Griffin has registered a double-double in 13 straight outings.
• Over the last six games, Taylor Griffin is averaging 14.3 points and 6.3 boards while shooting .660 from the floor.
• The Griffin brothers have combined for 54 percent of OU's individual rebounds on the season and are shooting a combined .611 from the field.  One of the two has led the team in rebounding in 32 of 33 games (Ryan Wright paced the Sooners with seven boards Feb. 23 against Kansas when Blake Griffin did not play).
• Despite a modest .679 team free throw percentage (it ranks ninth in the Big 12), Oklahoma has made more foul shots than its opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 280 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 8.5 more per game.
• OU is 25-1 this year when outshooting its opponent and 3-4 when being outshot.
• The Sooners are 9-0 this year against non-conference foes that have won at least 20 games (American, Davidson, Morgan State, Purdue, Tulsa, UAB, USC, Utah and VCU).
• Tony Crocker needs 28 points to become the 36th Sooner in history to reach 1,000 in a career.
• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 417 consecutive games (last one without a trey was at Memphis on Dec. 23, 1996).
• OU's 28 victories are its most since winning 31 games in 2001-02, and its sixth most ever.

• Blake Griffin leads the nation in rebounding (14.3) and double-doubles (27), while ranking second in free throw attempts (9.3 per game), third in field goal percentage (.643) and 13th in scoring (22.1 ppg).
• Griffin needs one more double-double to tie the Big 12 single-season mark of 28 set by Michael Beasley last year.
• The last player to average as many rebounds in a season as Griffin's 14.3 was Wake Forest's Tim Duncan (14.7) in 1996-97.
• Griffin has scored at least 20 points in 21 of his 32 games and has reached the 30-point mark on four occasions.
• Griffin has 12 double-doubles in his last 13 games.  He had a streak of eight double-doubles snapped Feb. 21 at Texas (played only 11 minutes).  It was the fourth longest double-double streak in OU history.  He also has a pair of six-game streaks this year.
• Griffin has 224 more points and 156 more rebounds in 32 games this year than he did in 33 games last season.
• In addition to his three games this year of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, Griffin has five games of at least 20 points and 18 rebounds and two others of at least 16 points and 20 boards.
• Griffin has recorded 13 games of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds this season, more than any player nationally since at least the 1996-97 season.  Duncan (Wake Forest in 1996-97) and Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech in 2005-06) registered nine 20/15 games, the second most since the start of the 1996-97 season.  The former Big 12 record was seven in a season (Kevin Durant in 2006-07 and Michael Beasley in 2007-08). 
• One of the country's best passing big men, Griffin has at least two assists in 24 of his 32 games and at least three in 14 outings.
• Griffin has 80 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.5 per game.  He has 132 slams in 65 career games.
Trophy.  Both are national player of the year awards.