By Ed Morgans @writered21 on June 24, 2014
The Oklahoma Sooners had a quality 2013-14, finishing 23-10 overall and going 12-6 in a Big 12 Conference that was pretty tough by most standards. The 12-6 conference mark was good enough for second in the league behind the conference's usual regular-season champion, Kansas (14-4). But the postseason was a disappointment, as OU failed to win a game in either the Big 12 or NCAA tournaments, bowing out of the Big Dance to North Dakota State.
An interesting non-conference game hits for Oklahoma on December 31, when the George Mason Patriots come to Norman to take on the Sooners. George Mason (11-20, 4-12) struggled as a new member of the Atlantic-10, but with a year of experience under their belts, the Patriots should be better next season. They are a much better matchup than a standard December game against a team from a weak conference.
While the loss of Doug McDermott might not make Creighton one of the more talked about teams next season like it has been the last four years, the Bluejays are tough at home and Oklahoma's trip there on November 19 will provide a good barometer of just how good the Sooners are going to be next season, and how much work they have to get done before Big 12 play starts.
An old Big 8 and Big 12 matchup comes to Norman on December 5 when Oklahoma welcomes the Missouri Tigers. Life in the SEC wasn't bad for the Tigers last year, as they went 23-12 overall and 9-9 in the league, though the SEC as a whole was pretty down last season. This is another decent non-conference test for the Sooners, and still a bit of a rivalry from the schools' days paired together.
While the official list of Big 12 conference opponents isn't available yet, it's likely the Sooners and Kansas Jayhawks will meet twice next season and both will be must-see games. As has been the case for the last decade, if a team wants to win the regular-season title in the Big 12, it has to go through Kansas. The Sooners were close in 2013-14, but lost both games to Kansas during the conference season, once by seven points and once by eight.
It's probably a pretty safe bet that the Sooners and Cowboys are going to meet twice in the rivalry that has become known as the Bedlam Series. Especially in the games at OSU, the fans are close to the court, the atmosphere is electric, and the games are intense. The Sooners won both games last season, including a three-point victory in Stillwater. OKlahoma has won four of the last five in the series.
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