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The Final Score 77-70 | Three Takeaways As Oklahoma Drops Into Tie For Second Place In Big XII

With the 77-70 loss, the Oklahoma Sooners drop into a tie for second place in the conference with Iowa State and stand 1.5 games back from Kansas.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma Fans Must Be West Virginia Fans On Tuesday

Heading into Big Monday, the Sooners possessed a legitimate shot at a share of the conference crown as the hottest team around. However, hopes were dashed after giving up a 21-point lead eventually falling by seven to Iowa State but the race isn't over as many presume.

Let's take a step outside of the emotions and we'll realize the Mountaineers proved to have the talent to beat Kansas this year. On Tuesday, WVU travels to the Phog on hoping for a regular season sweep. If there were ever a time for Oklahoma fans to root for another Big XII squad, it would be for West Virginia on Tuesday night at 8:00 PM. A win for the 'Eers gives the Sooners one more shot at a share of the conference crown.

Of course, that would throw us into another "One True Champion" debacle. But who am I kidding? That's wishful thinking!

A Late Season Blue Print Has Been Laid

All season long, I have raved about the defensive performance of Oklahoma. Consistently holding opponents under their scoring average, the Sooners racked up another 20-win season with a difficult schedule. It appeared OU was en route to yet another convincing win before Fred Hoiberg cracked the code.

Noting the tendency to switch on every ball screen, Monte Morris and the rest of the crew began to spread the floor out. Emphasizing isolation match-ups, Morris sparked the Cyclones to a 22-0 run midway through the second half. Facing an injury, Georges Niang took over to lead the team with 20 of his 23 points coming in the second half.

First pressure on the ball plagued the Sooners, now it's forcing the defense into isolation situations. Fortunately for Oklahoma, no other program in the nation possesses the number of scorers the Cyclones do.

Oklahoma Can Make A Deep Run Or An Early Exit In The NCAA Tournament

Looking a head with this takeaway, the Sooners have the talent to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament with Buddy Hield leading a solid starting five. When playing to their strengths such as getting out in transition basketball and rebounding the ball efficiently, Oklahoma remains tough to beat.

Yet, the flip side remains true as well. While we as fans have seen plenty of good basketball from this squad, we have also see some pretty bad basketball. Twice, away from home this season, OU jumped out to a 20+ point lead only to squander the moment and suffer a loss.

The post season has been dictated by the guards and I like to Sooners' back court. But, the potential of deciding a deep run or early exit could be decided at the flip of a coin right now.