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Oklahoma Sooners Hot Links: Remembering the late, great Billy Tubbs

On Sunday, former Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball coach Billy Tubbs passed away after a multi-year battle with leukemia. His impact will last forever.

Oklahoma Sooners Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

On Sunday, former Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball coach Billy Tubbs passed away after a multi-year battle with leukemia. He was 85.

From 1980 to 1994, Tubbs led Oklahoma to four Big Eight Conference championships and nine trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a runner-up finish in 1988. That particular team was one of the greatest in NCAA history to not win a national championship and was what many considered to be the best team in college basketball that season. You’d certainly be hard-pressed to find a team throughout the history of the sport that was more fun to watch.

Below are Parts 1-5 of the 1987-88 team’s highlights:

During his tenure at OU, Tubbs coached some of the program's all-time greatest players, such as Mookie Blaylock, Stacey King, Harvey Grant and Choo Kennedy. None stood taller, however, than Wayman Tisdale, whose signing was the first big splash Tubbs made as OU’s head man. It was an event that set OU hoops on course for not only the success experienced during Tubbs’ tenure, but for every bit of success the program has experienced since.

For more than a decade under Tubbs, the Sooners were known for their fast-paced, high-flying offense and suffocating defense — affectionately referred to as “Billy Ball”. Given the star power on the court and the style of ball they played, the Tubbs Era was arguably the most exciting time to be a fan of OU basketball.

Here are some iconic sound bytes from the legendary coach who was truly one of a kind.

Those who were fortunate enough to watch him work at Oklahoma, TCU, Lamar or in the broadcast booth will forever remember Tubbs as a fearless leader with the purest heart. His love and passion for Oklahoma and the game of basketball live on through the memories shared by his players, assistants and OU fans everywhere.

Now onto this week's Monday edition of Hot Links — Oklahoma is gaining strength by the week, Samaje scores for Cincinnati, an on-field dispute comes to blows in the NFL and more!

OU Links

  • Oklahoma is officially in Championship November mode. The Sooners have won 21 straight games in the Thanksgiving month, dating back to the 2014 season. Boomer!
  • 2021 five-star QB commit Caleb Williams recently penned another personal blog entry for SI where he talked more about settling into his new home in Oklahoma, as well as the recent recruiting news of landing the commitment of four-star ATH and former UT pledge Billy Bowman.
  • Speaking of which, in case you missed it, make sure you check out Kamiar's write-up of Bowman's announcement and the major recruiting win for Lincoln Riley as he lands one of the most talented two-way players in the nation.

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