The wait is over. The Oklahoma Sooners baseball team has found its way back into the NCAA Tournament. The journey was never easy and was full of ups and downs, but the Sooners earned an at-large bid after selections were announced on the official selection show Monday. Oklahoma received the next to last at-large bid per the show’s hosts.
Oklahoma (31-26) will play in the Charlottesville regional with the University of Virginia (45-12) as hosts. Their first opponent will be the ECU Pirates (45-17) out of the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates won the regular season crown but fell short in the conference tournament as the Tulane Green Wave, who finished second to last in the conference, pulled off an incredible run to win the tournament title. ECU’s failure in the tournament effectively pushed ECU out of potentially hosting a regional.
Oklahoma’s inclusion into the field was in real doubt as of Friday night. The Sooners were at No. 40 in the NCAA’s RPI after bowing out of the Big 12 tourney.
With no overly impressive resume, Oklahoma needed serious help. They were only 11-13 in conference play and made no run in the conference tournament. One positive Oklahoma had going forward, which undoubtedly played a large role in its selection, was their strength of schedule.
— Joe Castiglione (@soonerad) May 29, 2023
While Oklahoma struggled, they also played a grinding schedule that battle-tested them. For a team that lost a significant number of key players from the 2022 run, earning a postseason berth should be commended.
It remains to be seen if they can replicate the magic of getting all the way to the championship series like they did last year, but getting in is the first step.
The fourth and final team in the region is Army West Point (38-16). If the Sooners make it out of the regional, they would take on the winner of the Conway regional hosted by Coastal Carolina, which features Duke, UNC Wilmington, and Rider.