The Oklahoma Sooners have lost six of their last eight games and will likely fall out of the AP Poll on Monday. However, the folks on the NCAA Selection Committee still like the Sooners, as they have them as a No. 4 seed (No. 16 overall) in this season’s first NCAA March Madness Bracket Preview.
Yeah... I’m not entirely sure about what’s going on here. The Sooners do have some serious, quality wins on the resume and play in an incredibly tough conference, but this is just plain odd. Part of me thinks that the basketball committee is taking the lead of the CFP committee by making certain rankings decisions for the sake of starting conversations, and Jay Bilas seems to be on the same page.
A few of the decisions in the bracket preview Top 16 seeds are laughable. I hope this was just to create controversy and discussion. Otherwise, the Committee is wasting its time.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 11, 2018
Oklahoma currently sits at 16-8 with a 6-6 record in Big 12 play and are on a serious skid at the moment. The Sooners will get no real relief in the near future as they have to go on the road to face Texas Tech and Kansas in two of their next three games. Trae Young is indeed the best player in the country, but this team currently lacks the toughness and chemistry necessary to be a serious contender. They don’t deserve this type of recognition at this point.
Can they turn things around? Sure, but we need to see more of a sense of urgency from this group - and not just when they’re trying to get back into a game. This team constantly loses 50-50 balls, allows offensive rebounds, comes out of the gate with lackadaisical defense and makes too many offensive mistakes. They can beat anybody on any given night if they can find a way to fix these issues, but this just isn’t a good basketball team at the moment.
In fairness, the college basketball and Big 12 landscape sort of justify this in a way. The Big 12 is beating up on itself and hardly anyone around the country is sustaining any kind of success. Still, losing six of eight in this type of fashion should likely keep Oklahoma out of the top 16 for the time being.