The end of the regular season is just a few weeks away and soon we’ll be getting ready for conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament. However, the likelihood of any Oklahoma schools making any noise in either of those is getting smaller and smaller with each passing game. The only teams that have a chance to make the dance are Oral Roberts and Oklahoma State. And for OSU, their chances are getting slimmer and slimmer as they have lost 3 in a row and have a tough final 3 games ahead of them (vs. #14 Kansas State, #9 Baylor, and a red hot Texas Tech team that has suddenly won 4 straight). If they were to lose out…there’s almost no chance the Cowboys make it in unless were able to pull off a run to the Big 12 Tournament championship game (even then I don’t think that would be enough). Win one or two of those games…then maybe they don’t need to make as deep of a run in the conference tournament. Oral Roberts looks awesome as they are unbeaten in conference play. However, we all know that Oral Roberts has a very slim chance to make the dance unless they win the Summit League conference tournament. That will certainly be a challenge as they will in all likelihood have to face South Dakota State in the championship of that tournament which will essentially be a road game as that tournament is held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (about an hour from the SDSU campus). There’s a slight chance they would win an at-large bid…but I certainly wouldn’t count on it.
For the other 2 major Division I schools in Oklahoma, they’re just looking forward to the end of the season to put an end to the nightmare this season has been. For Oklahoma and Tulsa, the 2022-2023 season has been anything but ideal. And that was on full display last night.
Tulsa 60 vs. East Carolina 62
Tulsa is in the midst of rebuild. Under 1st year head coach Eric Konkol, the Golden Hurricanes have only mustered up 5 wins and were in the midst of an 8 game losing streak going into last night. However, last night looked like that streak was about to come to an end. Tulsa was either tied or ahead a majority of the first half and was most of the 1st 12 minutes of the second half. Then, the wheels fell off. Tulsa’s offense went 5 minutes without scoring a point and East Carolina was able to take the lead during that time. The Golden Hurricanes defense though was doing everything they could to keep Tulsa in the game. To their credit, they kept it to within 5 points. The problem was, the Tulsa offense couldn’t get the job done. They got close. Just not close enough and the Golden Hurricanes ended up losing in a 2-point game to the Pirates. Brandon Betson led the Golden Hurricanes in scoring with 20 points as 3 Tulsa players were in double figures. Tulsa has 2 more games to try and snap the losing streak and end the season on a positive note as they will face UCF on Sunday and South Florida next Wednesday.
Texas Tech 74 vs. Oklahoma 63
Oklahoma’s season has been all over the place. They got the season started off with a home opening loss to Sam Houston State and that definitely was a microcosm of how this season was going to go for the Sooners. Under head coach Porter Mosser, the Sooners have been consistently inconsistent. One night they score 75 to 80 points in a winning effort…followed by a 50 to 60 output in a loss. They have been the hardest team in the Big 12 to figure out. Just a few weeks ago, many thought the Sooners win against then #2 Alabama would be the spring board they needed to make a run to the NCAA Tournament. That could not have been further from the truth as the Sooner have since lost 5 of 6 coming into last night and have pretty much played their way out of any potential tournament aspirations. Texas Tech, on the other hand, have been rolling. After starting conference play at 0-8, the Red Raiders are winners of their last 3 straight and 5 of their last 7 coming into last night. If they’re able to rip off a few more wins between now and conference tournament…they could sneak their way into a tournament spot.
Last night these two very different teams met up in Norman and played a really close game. Oklahoma was able to keep things really close throughout the entire game and were even down just 4 with a little over 2 minutes to go. However, the same issues that have plagued the Sooners this season reared their ugly head and the Sooner offense failed to put up the baskets they needed to pull off the win. Oklahoma scored just 4 points in the last 4 minutes of the game. That will doom you almost every time. The Sooners fall to 13-15 on the year and 3-12 in Big 12 play. The Sooners will look to finish the season strong and possible get an NIT or CBI invite as they will face #23 Iowa State on Saturday, #14 Kansas State next Wednesday, and #24 TCU next Saturday.