This time last year, Oklahoma was coming off a loss to Michigan State in the Sweet 16 that ended their season. This year, that is not the case as the Sooners are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2009. Oklahoma defeated the Texas A&M Aggies, 77-63, after a big first half by the Sooners.
Jordan Woodard led all Sooners in scoring with 22 points after shooting 5/6 from three point range. He made a lot of big plays tonight, adding in five assists and two steals to go with his big night shooting the ball.
Buddy Hield had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and didn't have to play hero ball today for Oklahoma to get the win as this was one of their more balanced games of the season in which four of the five starters scored in double figures. It was also Hield's first double-double of the season, as he showed his versatility today that he's not just a shooter.
On the defensive side of the ball, big men Khadeem Lattin and Ryan Spangler played great. Lattin had two blocks but caused a lot of missed shots that don't show up on the stat sheet and Spangler played intense on offense and defense. The starting forwards for Oklahoma had 10 points a piece.
After a big first half in which the Sooners went on a 39-13 run, Oklahoma looked as dangerous as they've been all season and had everyone involved on the offense with lots of intense defense. Texas A&M came out looking better in the second half, but they seemingly ran out of magic that got them past Northern Iowa in the first round. Oklahoma kept their foot on the gas and the result was a big win for the second seeded Sooners.
Oklahoma will play the winner of the Duke/Oregon game, which has yet to be played. The winner of that game will get to go to the Final Four in Houston, something the Sooners have been dreaming about since last season's Sweet 16 exit. But if Oklahoma keeps up this level of play on both sides of the ball, then the Sooners could be cutting the nets down in Houston. They have three possible games left, and each one will require a team effort like today.