Sooners open NCAA Tournament against Rhode Island

Oklahoma guard Trae Young warms up before an NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

The Oklahoma Sooners have an uphill fight if they want to make some noise in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The 10-seed Sooners (18-13) open the tournament against the Rhode Island Rams (25-7) Thursday morning as underdogs. Once considered a top-tier contender for a national title winning 11 of 12 games in 2017, the Sooners clawed their way into the Tournament. The team finished 6-12 when the calendar turned to 2018, including a 2-8 skid to close out the regular season.

The Rams are making their second consecutive appearance in the Tournament after winning the Atlantic 10 regular season title, but falling to Davidson in the A10 Tournament Championship. Rhode Island also boasts a very veteran squad: four of the team's top five scorers are seniors.

Guard Jared Terrell, who at one point signed with Oklahoma State before backing out and playing with the Rams, was a first-team All-Conference selection. He leads the team scoring 17.2 points-per-game in just under 33 minutes.

Tipoff is slated for 11:15 a.m. CT Thursday in Pittsubrgh, Pennsylvania. OU and URI play in the Midwest region.

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