Happy Monday, friends and fans!
After registering yet another win over a top 10 opponent, the Oklahoma Sooners (11-4, 6-3) have vaulted up to No. 9 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll. OU faced a challenging series of tests in the month of January, but despite missing key players at different times, Lon Kruger’s crew is enjoying a hot streak of five consecutive victories as the calendar now flips to February.
In addition to Oklahoma’s jump in the AP Poll, the Sooners have climbed in the NCAA NET Rankings as well. Going into Saturday’s contest versus Alabama, OU was ranked 20th in the advanced metric, and today it checks in at No. 17.
CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has also been thoroughly impressed with what Oklahoma has accomplished to date. As of Monday morning, the esteemed bracketologist projects the Sooners as a three-seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Objectively speaking, with their résumé including four wins against top 10 competition, I’d say that’s absolutely warranted.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! OU Hoops gears up for tough road test, Sooners impress at senior showcase, the ‘Laser Show’ calls it a career and more!
- Things don’t get any easier for the OU men’s basketball team as they hit the road to take on No. 13 Texas Tech in Lubbock. In the first meeting between these two squads this season, the Red Raiders defeated the Sooners in Norman, 69-67 back in December. Oklahoma is red hot right now, but this game should prove to be a formidable challenge as Big 12 play resumes. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
- CB Tre Brown not only impressed his coaches during his reps at the Senior Bowl practices, he also received high praise from the pass catchers who lined up against him. Keep up the great work, Tre!
Oklahoma’s Tre Brown was named top DB on the American team in a vote from the WR group at practice player-of-the-week awards ceremony tonight at 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. #TheDraftStartsInMobile pic.twitter.com/nm0XUNBFoF— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) January 30, 2021
- Similarly to Brown, center Creed Humphrey also garnered a good amount of attention from the coaches and scouts in attendance at this year’s Senior Bowl. As long as he tests relatively well, he should be one of the first Sooners selected in this year’s NFL Draft.
- SI Sooners’ John Hoover recently took a look at what kind of player Oklahoma is getting with Tennessee transfer RB Eric Gray.
- There may not have been an actual NFL Pro Bowl this season, but that didn’t stop Kyler Murray from flashing his sweet commemorative jersey following the first selection of his young career.
Around the Sports World
- The ending to the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets game might be the wildest finish to a basketball game that I have seen in years. Down five with 12 seconds remaining, Bradley Beal raced up the court and drained a deep three, then moments later, D.C. stole the inbounds pass and Russell Westbrook sunk yet another triple to take the lead. Ultimately, Washington won, 149-146. Wow.
- In a monumental NFL trade over the weekend, the Los Angeles Rams are reportedly receiving QB Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions in exchange for QB Jared Goff and three future draft picks.
- Former LSU Tigers TE Arik Gilbert has officially announced his decision to transfer to Gainesville where he’ll join Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators. Also of note, he tweeted this from Family Dollar. That place some pretty good deals. This one time I needed a new shower mat, and wouldn’t you know it, they had exactly what I was looking for!
After careful consideration I have decided to commit to the University of Florida. This is the best situation for me and I’m excited to join the family.— AG2 (@arik_gilbert) January 31, 2021
- The MLB has reportedly proposed to delay the start of the 2021 season by one month while also extending the length of the season by one week, including an expanded postseason.
- Four-time MLB All-Star and two-time World Series Champion Dustin Pedroia has officially called it a career after spending 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
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