Can Oklahoma Stake Their Claim Inside the Big 12 Conference?

By Paul Seaver
Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

Aside from a eyebrow-raising loss to Stephen F. Austin back on Dec. 18, the Oklahoma Sooners have done their part to make a case within the Big 12 Conference.

A victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night moved the Sooners to 3-0 within the conference this season and have positioned themselves with an overall mark of 12-3. There isn’t much on Oklahoma’s resume thus far that will jump out at the NCAA committee, but even so, the Sooners have put themselves in an intriguing spot.

Romero Osby and Steven Pledger lead the team offensively, but head coach Lon Kruger appears to finally have something in the works in Norman. Well, at least that’s what it could seem like.

Tests are on the horizon for Oklahoma, and it starts this weekend with a trip to 16th-ranked Kansas State. A brutal, conference stretch is approaching the Sooners, who currently stand as one of only three unbeaten teams in the conference.

For the time being, there isn’t much that can be seen that would break the Sooners apart in the pretender/contender discussion, but the opportunity is certainly emerging. Oklahoma is now one statement win away from bringing about some interesting hype.

It’s been a while since the days of 2009 in which Oklahoma advanced to the Elite 8, but this squad is searching for at least a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Winning the games that they are expected to win is a start, but that one, big over-the-hump victory is what could make or break them.

Opportunities will be aplenty in the coming weeks, so for now, Oklahoma should be a team that we keep an eye on in the Big 12.


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

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