Bubble Watch: Oklahoma Sooners Seal Tournament Berth With Kansas State Win
The Oklahoma Sooners are now 20 – 7 after absolutely dominating the Kansas State Wildcats. Four Sooners’ starters scored in double digits and the team shot over 50 percent from the field as a whole. Oklahoma led by 19 at the end of the first half and, although allowing Kansas State to outscore them in the second half, were able to hold on for a crucial 86 – 73 victory.
The most impressive aspect of the win for the Sooners was the Ryan Spangler didn’t have that great of a game. Spangler, who has been a key part of Oklahoma’s offense and, more importantly, rebounding all season long, only scored seven points and pulled in two rebounds despite playing 31 minutes. If the Sooners can dominate a very talented team like Kansas State without the help of Spangler, they’ll go very far in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
As crazy as it sounds, Oklahoma wasn’t a lock for March Madness up until this point. Their non-conference schedule was terrible; the Sooners’ best win came over the Mercer Bears. With the win over Kansas State, Oklahoma now moves to 9 – 5 in Big 12 play and, more importantly, will be able to relax a bit with an extremely tough remaining schedule. Upcoming opponents like the Kansas Jayhawks, Texas Longhorns and West Virginia Mountaineers are all capable of beating the Sooners.
Oklahoma proved against Kansas State that they are an all-around talented team, and sometimes in the NCAA Tournament that leads to more wins than just one or two elite players.