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Okahoma Sooners Basketball: Sooners fall to OSU, face uncertain future

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Oklahoma State prevailed by a score of 71-60. OU’s future is now shaky.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners are one and done in the Big 12 Tournament after falling haplessly to in-state rival Oklahoma State 71-60. The Cowboys thoroughly dominated Oklahoma from start to finish. There was a moment in the middle of the second half when the Sooners came within a couple possessions of tying the game up, but Oklahoma State pressed down on the gas to close out the game with authority.

Three takeaways:

  • The Sooners were completely obliterated on the boards 53 to 7, including an embarrassing 18 to 5 on the offensive glass. Defensive rebounding is paramount when the opponent isn’t shooting well, but for Oklahoma State, 39% from the field didn’t matter. With all the extra shots, the Cowboys were more than able to make up for a sub-par field goal percentage. Getting stops has been an issue all season long for the Sooners, and tonight was another example of their inability to finish the job and secure rebounds. It just felt like whenever Oklahoma State missed a shot, it was expected that they would grab the offensive rebound and attempt shot after shot they got one to go in.
  • Trae Young had virtually no help once again, but this time it wasn’t all on his teammates. Young, who scored 22 points on 7-21 shooting, regularly forced shots and made poor decisions with the ball, especially on fast break opportunities. Even during this season’s second half slump the Sooners have found themselves in, it’s been a rare night that everybody, including Trae Young, have all been off. Unfortunately, tonight was one of those nights, and for the team’s sake, I hope it doesn’t come back to bite them.
  • The energy of this team couldn’t be lower than it was tonight. All night long, the Sooners were outhustled on both ends of the floor. On defense, Oklahoma couldn’t secure loose balls or rebounds, and on the other end, the Sooners’ offense was consistently dictated by the Cowboys’ energetic defense. The road crowd, hostile environment arguments can’t be used as an excuse for this one, either. What’s happened to this team over the last two months can only be described as inexplicable. The fire, the intensity, the energy, the hustle has all been completely absent. If you’re a betting fan, the smart money will be on whoever Oklahoma opens up against in the NCAA Tournament, that is, if the Sooners are so lucky to even receive an invitation.

What’s next?

After dropping tonight’s game against Oklahoma State, the Oklahoma Sooners are in a precarious spot in regards to their chances for an NCAA Tournament bid. Coming into the Big 12 Tournament, Oklahoma was a team that many felt was near the bracket bubble, and with a yet another late season loss fresh on the minds of the tournament committee, the Sooners ought to brace themselves for a potential First Four matchup for the chance to play their way into the NCAA Tournament. The fate of the Sooners will be determined on Sunday, when the tournament teams and the bracket will be announced.

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