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Oklahoma Sooners Hot Links: Miles Reynolds and Aaron Calixte are thrilled about going to the NCAA Tournament

Neither of OU’s grad transfers had ever been to the Big Dance, but that changed on Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

If the 2019 NCAA Tournament was played with the schools’ football teams, the Oklahoma Sooners would have a very realistic shot at winning it all. And check out this possible title game! A rematch with the Florida Gators like the 2009 BCS National Championship? Count me in.

Other notable matchups for the Sooners in this fantasy scenario are the stretch of Big Ten teams OU would likely have to get through. Wisconsin, Purdue and Ohio State would certainly provide a solid test going into the championship game. Shoot, it might even be a glimpse into the future when conference realignment revs up again. I’m kidding... mostly.

If you’re looking for Texas, you might be surprised to learn they weren’t invited to this year’s proceedings. And I know what you’re thinking, but contrary to what a certain QB said in January, the Longhorns are definitely not back. Why? Because this is March, that’s why.

Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Miles Reynolds is especially excited for the NCAA Tournament, Jalen Redmond is the football team’s best hooper, Auburn apparently won a different kind of tournament that’s probably not sanctioned by the NCAA and more!

OU Links

  • In case you missed it, the tip-off of Friday’s game between OU and the Ole Miss Rebels is scheduled for 11:40 a.m. CT on truTV. Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery will be on the call.
  • When grad transfers Miles Reynolds and Aaron Calixte chose Oklahoma to play one final season of college basketball, one of the goals was to make it to the Big Dance for the first time in each of their careers. Now that they’re in the NCAA Tournament, the rest of this journey is the icing on the cake.
  • Who are the best basketball players on each of the top college football teams? For Oklahoma, Jalen Redmond was a star on the court before he gained traction on the gridiron. ESPN’s Jake Trotter has more.
  • SB Nation’s Ian Boyd wrote about Kyler Murray and how he ran Lincoln Riley’s offense to absolute perfection. For all the things the offense is designed to do, Murray had all the tools to make it hum.
  • OU topped Missouri State, 6-1, to take the weekend series, and Sunday starter Levi Prater had quite the performance in the process. The sophomore became the first OU pitcher to record 15 strikouts in a game since 1999, and he did so in seven innings.
  • Speaking of OU baseball, the Sooners are No. 25 in a couple of the major polls this week. At 16-4, this group is surpassing preseason expectations and carrying plenty of momentum into Big 12 play.
  • Freshman golfer Libby Winans won the individual title at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz. As a team, Oklahoma placed fourth, but this marks the third consecutive year a Sooner has taken home the top individual honor.

Around the Sports World

  • Wow! Well done, Auburn! No word yet on whether or not the NCAA plans to sanction the sport in the future.
  • If the Big Dance was a tournament of the most prominent alums from each school, who would win? Props to OU’s Ed Harris for getting out of the first round (albeit against Eli Manning) before falling to Tina Fey in the Round of 32. It’s also worth noting that FSU’s Burt Reynolds absolutely got robbed in the first round against Vermont’s Ben Affleck. Terrible! Side note: I had no idea Bruce Lee went to Washington. Probably the most random thing I’ll learn today.
  • It’s not that Carlos Santana (the pitcher, not the guitarist) isn’t a fan of Fortnite, he’s just a hard-working professional and he wants his teammates to be professional too. Okay... he’s also probably not a fan of Fortnite. Video of this incident would have been absolute gold, but reading about it is still very nice.
  • NFL defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, most known for his time with the Baltimore Ravens, called it a career in an amazing way. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak, to be specific) to announce his retirement, and by taking full advantage of the going-out-on-top pun, he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer based on that alone.
  • Mike Scott didn’t give a flip about not drinking while working, because it was St. Patrick’s Day and he was just being a festive sport. Boss move.

Stick to Sports!

  • If you’re familiar with the concept behind the Final Destination film franchise, you’re well aware of how the characters in those notorious movies dodge deathly situations only to face another in an inescapable loop. The first film of the franchise involved a plane crash on flight 317. The main character, played by Devon Sawa, foresaw the tragedy ahead of time and beat death. Fast-forward to yesterday, March 17, in real life when the actor found himself on a plane. He’s on the ground and safe now, but my gosh this whole thing almost became a little too real.

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