The Madness returns tomorrow, but sadly not for the boys of Oklahoma.
The Sooners’ season ended in Spokane in an upset loss to North Dakota State. However, this was a very successful season for Oklahoma.
This group took a huge step in the right direction, and raised the expectations for Oklahoma hoops.
I didn’t expect to write this column this soon, but in memoriam of OU’s 2013-2014 season, here are what I believe to be OU’s best games.
5. Michigan State 87, Oklahoma 76 • Brooklyn, NY • Nov. 23
You hate to look back on losses, but this was the game you felt Oklahoma could compete with anyone. The top-ranked Spartans and Sooners met in the Coaches v. Cancer title game, and two great coaches were able to see where both squads were at early in the season.
Oklahoma gave MSU a run for their money, and while the score says otherwise, this was a close game OU could have won. State pulled away in the closing minutes, and sent OU home from Brooklyn with a loss. However, this was the night fans started to realize there was something special awaiting the Sooners in conference play.
4. Oklahoma 66, Baylor 64 • Waco, TX • Jan. 18
OU had their Big 12 road struggles in 2014, but one place they found a win was Waco. The then-12th ranked Baylor Bears were the second game of back-to-back road trips for the Sooners. Oklahoma dropped the first one to the Kansas State Wildcats, and Baylor was looking to hand OU another ‘L’.
The Sooners only put up 24 points on the Bears in the first half, but exploded for 42 in the second. OU clawed their way back, and against a team that at the moment is still dancing, OU was victorious and this one is undoubtedly OU’s best true road win. You could make a case for OU’s win in Austin against the Longhorns, but I’m not sure Rick Barnes’ team had hit their peak yet when OU picked up an 88-85 win over the Horns.
Side Note: Baylor celebrated their 2013 Big 12 football Championship at this game, so it was nice spoiling the day for the Baylor fans.
3. Oklahoma 87, Iowa State 82 • Norman, OK • Jan 11
It was a three parade in Norman. For an 11 p.m. tip-off, Oklahoma had a nice crowd for a top-ten Cyclones team. The Sooners hit 13 three’s win in this big upset victory that helped Oklahoma gain some national recognition.
This game marked OU’s first win against a ranked opponent, and while the Cyclones got their revenge in Ames, Iowa State could not handle a huge game from Ryan Spangler in Norman. Spangler scored 16 on the Cyclones and grabbed 15 boards in a excellent double-double effort. Buddy Hield was, also, money hitting six of those 13 Oklahoma three point shots made.
2. Oklahoma 86, Seton Hall 85 • Brooklyn, NY • Nov. 22
It’s very hard to describe this game. The final minute was nothing short of Sooner Magic. I mean it was still football season, right?
The Sooners managed to force multiple turnovers to rally from seven points down in the final 60 seconds. The Sooner defense could have not asked for a better result and Buddy Hield hit the game-winning free throws before the Pirates failed to get a decent shot off at the other end.
Oklahoma’s resilience shined bright in this game, and it’s something they’ve shown all year. However, this one takes the cake as one of the most memorable games in recent history.
1. Oklahoma 88, Oklahoma State 76 • Norman, OK • Jan. 27
As far as atmospheres go, I’m not sure any football games reached the level of excitement inside the Lloyd Noble in round one of Bedlam hoops. The student section did not fool around, and the fans showed up as well.
Oklahoma flexed their muscle and showed the then eighth-ranked Pokes who the superior hoops team was in 2014.
OU’s size put OSU at a huge disadvantage and the Cowboys didn’t help their cause with major foul trouble, and a solid all-around team effort. This game was a fun one to be at, and hopefully Sooner fans will bring much of this noise next year when the Sooners return four of five starters.