March Madness is upon us, but spirits are not particularly high in Norman, Oklahoma. After all, the Oklahoma Sooners have lost five of their last six games, as late-game struggles have plagued a team that was once thought to be in contention for a 2-seed. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Roughly one year after the 2020 college basketball season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OU is still a lock to have its name called on Selection Sunday. To this point, this experienced group has picked up wins over Kansas, Texas, West Virginia (twice) and Alabama — all of whom are projected to be at least a 3-seed in this year’s festivities. Additionally, the Sooners only have one “bad loss” on the season, which can perhaps be chalked up to the Bramlage Coliseum “curse”/“secret clause in Lon Kruger’s contract”.
As for the recent struggles? Well, it hasn’t been pretty. The ball simply cannot stick to Austin Reaves’ hands from the final media timeout on. To see it happen a few times is understandable, but to see it happen repeatedly is an indictment of Kruger. However, it’s probably worth noting that OU was in each game of the five games heading into the final minute, and each loss came against teams that are playing some of the best basketball in the country. Kruger has generally done a terrific job with this team, and the toughness and grit that it brings to the table could definitely give non-Big 12 teams fits in the Big Dance.
Entering Selection Sunday, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm each have the Sooners as No. 8 seeds. This would of course set up a hypothetical second-round matchup with one of the 1-seeds. While I obviously wouldn’t pick the Sooners to win against one of those four, I’m fairly confident that they would be able to take one of them out of their comfort zone and make it an interesting affair.
Others, however, have OU as high as the No. 6 line, which could set up some relatively favorable matchups for a group that’s looking to get back on the right track.
How to Watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show
- Date: Sunday, March 14 | Time: 5 p.m. CT
- TV: CBS
- Live stream: March Madness Live
- ESPN: 8 (vs. Virginia Tech)
- CBS: 8 (vs. San Diego State)
- USA Today: 7 (vs. St. Bonaventure)
- Andy Katz (NCAA.com): 6
- Chris Dobbertean (SB Nation): 6 (vs. Maryland)