The Big 12 is the best conference in college basketball and a large part of that is the surprising talent of teams like the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners. Unfortunately, that means that these teams are going to take wins from each other and some deserving Big 12 teams might miss out on the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Oklahoma took a step out of the NCAA tournament and towards the NCAA tournament bubble with a loss at home to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Buddy Hield just didn’t show up, as the Sooners’ leading scorer was 1-13 and only scored three points. The Red Raiders were able to pull off the win, despite a poor free throw shooting performance en route to a 68-60 upset.
This loss doesn’t look good for Oklahoma. You might look at the Sooners’ 18-7 record and think, “No way that Oklahoma can miss out on the tournament,” and that’s partly true. However, when you take a closer look at their schedule and wins, their 18-7 record isn’t very impressive at all.
Their highest RPI non-conference win was against the Mercer Bears. Let that sink in for a minute. No other non-conference wins are in the top 100 RPI. On top of their weak non-conference wins, they’ve lost games to Louisiana Tech and now Texas Tech. They have to start winning, now.
Oklahoma deserves to go to the 2014 NCAA tournament; they’re a good team that could get hot at the right time and shake things up. However, if they don’t start stringing together some wins soon, they might find themselves with 20+ wins and a No. 1 seed in the NIT instead of a trip to March Madness.
Next up are the Marcus Smart-less Oklahoma State Cowboys. Oklahoma can’t afford to let an opportunity to put a win over OSU on their tournament resume slip away. It’s do-or-die time for OU, and we’ll see what they’re made of very soon.