Sooner Basketball: The Final Stretch
Three of the next four games will tell us a lot about the Sooners.
While nowhere near as fearsome as usual, Texas starts it all and this game is big for two reasons. One, OU will have the pressure of the No. 1 ranking on them for the first time. While it is not a lock for OU, a big win on a big stage would seal it and the one thing we have not seen from OU is how they handle pressure on the biggest stage. And Two, Texas is OU's most hated rival and there is plenty of motivation for Texas to ruin OU's party and potential No.1 ranking—something the longhorns have never done as a member of the Big 12.
No rest for the Sooners.
After a big game on the road, the Sooners have to face the defending national champions approximately 48-hours later.
Kansas lost four games early, but the young team has improved immensely over the course of the season improving to 22-5 and a serious contender once more.
If OU can beat both Texas and Kansas, plenty of people will jump on the bandwagon especially the media, however, a loss in either game and the doubters will come out in droves and all the OU in the Final four talks will cease and desist for a week or so.
Kansas only conference loss was by two points at Mizzou, so they will be the toughest challenge to date for the Sooners.
Missouri is reminding everyone what Quinn Snyder made us all forget: Mizzou is a great basketball program. As evidenced by the fact they have jumped way up the charts, they went from unranked to top 10 in just a few weeks even though they had some bad conference losses mixed in. Why? They are 22-4 and have dominated some decent teams, plus beat KU at a time they were starting to look unstoppable.
It is hard to how good this team is because you just do not want to believe a team can make that big a jump in one year, but OU has to play them in Columbia and this is OU biggest road challenge of the season.
In the next two weeks, we will know all we can about these Sooners.
If they go 3-0 in these big games, we will know hey are indeed the real deal and a legitimate final four and national championship contender.
Anything less and the question marks get much bigger; two losses and most people jump off the bandwagon, but with two more Mcdonald's All-Americans showing up next year, I wouldn't expect the Sooners to go away any time soon … unless Capel does.
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