The Oklahoma Sooners Men’s Basketball team started off the season red hot, 11-2 with two Top-15 SEC victories, but then the frustrations set in. Since beating Kansas State to open Big 12 play the Sooners have gone 2-6. Yes, five of those losses have been to ranked opponents, four of them ranked No. 7 or higher, but that makes games like Monday night’s that much more important.
OU hosted the TCU Horned Frogs, a team they lost to on the road, in overtime, just a little over two weeks earlier, but this game looked much different than the first time around, and not in favor of the Sooners. OU lost once again, 72-63, but unlike their visit to Fort Worth, the Sooners only lead once about two minutes into the game. Oklahoma cut down on the turnovers that had lead to losing close games, only giving up 6, but The Horned Frogs dominated the glass, grabbing 42 rebounds. Compare that to OU’s 20 rebounds and that’s an almost insurmountable difference. The Horned Frogs used their size, not just in the rebounding, but outscoring the Sooners in the paint, 42-32 and shooting 52.8% from the field.
The Sooners have now lost six of their last seven games and sit at just 13-9 overall, but more importantly, 3-6 in Big 12 play, dropping them to 8th in the conference race. Oklahoma finally seems to have addressed the turnover issue, but in a conference like the Big 12, you can’t get owned on the glass and swept by NCAA Tournament bubble teams, like TCU. There are no easy games on the Sooners’ schedule, but at home against TCU is a borderline must-win contest if OU wants a shot at March Madness. The Sooners are now in a tough spot. If they want to get back to that non-conference level of winning we saw in November and December, they need to commit to playing tough on both ends of the floor consistently.
The Oklahoma Sooners are back in action this Saturday in Stillwater, against Oklahoma State (10-10 overall, 3-5 Big 12) for Bedlam Round 1. Tip is set for 11 a.m. on ESPN 2.