Oklahoma Makes a Statement With Win Over Oklahoma State

By Spencer Impellizzeri
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With an 88-76 victory over their in-state rival, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Oklahoma Sooners proved that they are a contender in the Big 12.

Oklahoma’s victory over the Cowboys is huge for the Sooners. Besides asserting in-state dominance, it proves that the Sooners are one of the better teams in the conference and country. Oklahoma hasn’t received much attention nationally this season, but that should change.

Ryan Spangler was huge for the Sooners. The sophomore had a double-double, finishing with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. He was the difference-maker for an Oklahoma team that is undersized. Spangler is the tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-8.

Oklahoma State was the preseason favorite to win the league, but that seems unlikely now. The Cowboys are 16-4 on the season and are a consensus top 10 team in the current polls, but the Cowboys are 4-3 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State also has one of the best players in the country in Marcus Smart. He combined with guards Markell Brown and Phil Forte to score 60, but it wasn’t enough.

Oklahoma sits at No. 23 in the current polls after finally breaking into the rankings in the recent weeks. This ranking is way too low for the Sooners team.

The Sooners have a built a quality resume this season and the victory over the Cowboys adds to that. On the season, the Sooners are 17-4 with wins over the Alabama Crimson Tide, Texas Longhorns and Iowa State Cyclones. Two of Oklahoma’s losses are to teams currently in the top 10, the Kansas Jayhawks and Michigan State Spartans.

Oklahoma finds themselves as the favorites to catch Kansas in the conference standings. Kansas is currently undefeated in conference play, but they have played two less games. If the Jayhawks were to slip up, the meeting between the two schools on Feb. 24 could have a whole lot at stake.

As long as Oklahoma keeps winning, the Sooners will be in contention in the Big 12 and beyond.

Spencer Impellizzeri is an MLB and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Spence_I.

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