(FAYETTEVILLE) When the bracket for the NCAA Tournament’s Norman (Okla.) Regional was announced Sunday night, the University of Arkansas softball players cheered as they watched on the scoreboard video screen at Bogle Park.
The cheer wasn’t because the Razorbacks saw their name. It was because they knew Arkansas wasn’t going to play at Oklahoma.
The Razorbacks let out a bigger cheer when it was announced they will play Tulsa in the Stillwater (Okla.) Regional at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Cowgirl Stadium. The Arkansas-Tulsa game will be lived-streamed on ESPN3.
Oklahoma — the No. 1 overall seed with a 49-2 record — has eliminated Arkansas seven of the eight times the Razorbacks have played in the NCAA Tournament, including last season when the Sooners won 7-2 and 9-0 in the Norman Super Regional.
After Arkansas (38-18) plays Tulsa (35-18) in Thursday’s regional opener, Oklahoma State (39-14) will play BYU (29-24).
Tulsa, which won 2-1 at Arkansas on March 13, is the only team in the regional the Razorbacks have played this season.
The Razorbacks are making their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance — a first in the program’s 23-year history.