Having turned it over 11 times in the first half yet again, Oklahoma fittingly entered the intermission trailing by 11. A lot of teams would have folded in that situation when facing a team of Tech caliber, but this team has been nothing if not resilient for the entirety of Porter Moser’s first season, and they simply seized control of the game for the majority of the second half. It reached a point in which Tech almost looked helpless offensively, and when OU began limiting turnovers on the other end, you knew this would become a thriller.
Oklahoma would lead by a score of 47-44 with 7:25 remaining, but Tech would answer with a 6-0 run of its own to flip the deficit. From that point forward, it was a slugfest between two fatigued fighters. A few questionable calls down the stretch helped Tech secure a 56-54 advantage in the closing moments before Jacob Groves was sent to the line with a pair of free throws. The first one went down, but the second would have to be tipped out for an offensive rebound. It ended up in the hands of Umoja Gibson, who drove it to the basket before being tangled up as time expired.
Oklahoma entered the game right in the middle of the NCAA Tournament bubble, and very little went the Sooners’ way in the other tournaments. Texas A&M’s win over Auburn, Indiana’s win over Illinois and Virginia Tech’s win over North Carolina could indeed prove costly, and OU will certainly be sweating it on Selection Sunday. I think this team deserves a bid, and I think the NET ranking might end up carrying them into the Big Dance in the end, but I’d probably call it a coin flip at this point.
March Madness, indeed.