Thursday was a wild day. It’s only the beginning of what’s shaping up to be one of the great NCAA Tournaments.
Thursday night, Oklahoma and North Dakota State played for a spot in the Field of 32. Pitting two of the country’s best offenses turned out to be slugfest, and a Cinderella is in the making.
The Bison of NDSU took down the fifth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners.
One game is all we got out of this team, but there is so much to learn from that one game. When you really think about it, this game defined Oklahoma’s season.
- OU opened up this game against NDSU with a Cam Clark and-one. Pretty nice way to start off the game, right? The same could be said for the Sooners at the beginning of the season. They started off well, and they looked good early. It was a promising start. However, Oklahoma experienced a few dry spells.
- The Sooners would go on long droughts in this game, but still managed to stay competitive. Much like this past year, OU had a few setbacks, but they stayed in the hunt for second place in the Big 12 Conference.
- Much like Romero Osby last season, Cameron Clark in his last game was the main catalyst for Oklahoma. He had some help, but Clark clearly was the most poised throughout the game, and with all of NDSU’s experience in their lineup, Clark look just as seasoned.
- Buddy Hield could not hit anything. It was frustrating to see him shoot as poorly as he did, but he never quit. And Oklahoma’s never quit all season. They clawed and scratched for every win they could get. This one they let slip away, but it should be more motivation for next season.
- I’m not sure what the defensive strategy was for Oklahoma tonight, but man, did NDSU’s offense pick it apart. Give the Bison a lot of credit. They move the ball and look for the best shot possible. Oklahoma gets a lot of good looks as well, but they were not hitting like North Dakota State did in Spokane.
- Once again, it seems like the philosophy of this team changes on a weekly basis. This is a squad with not much identity, because one week they look like they can make a run at the Final Four and the next they look like they belong as a top seed in the NIT. This is what bites about a team that lives and dies by their jump shot. OU can shoot at a high clip when they’re on, but too many offensive lapses kill this team.
- Ryan Spangler has to get more involved. Against a big, gritty team like NDSU, Spangler, and maybe even DJ Bennett, need to challenge the Bison in the paint. They did a good job of defending the rim, but if Oklahoma wants to be regarded as a big boy school, you’ve got to show no fear. Spangler’s been great all year, he’s a rebounding machine, but I’d love for Kruger to get his bigs more involved, and that may happen with the new recruits coming in next season.
- Jordan Woodard has a bright future in Norman. He’s a difference maker for OU, and if he can take over games like a Chris Paul or Tony Parker type point guard, it’s going to be scary for the rest of the Big 12 to face him the next three years.
- NDSU deserves a lot of props. They hit a huge three to tie things up, and their coach seems like a really likable guy. No hard feelings from me, just please make a run at the Final Four, North Dakota State, if you’re going to upset OU like that.
- It was a tough, aggravating, frustrating game to watch, and there’s so many more things I wish I could type, but I like being able to write for Fansided and I don’t want to jeopardize that. So on that note, Boomer Sooner and good night/day everyone. Enjoy your Friday of pretending to work and watching 16 more (hopefully awesome) games.