Oklahoma basketball: Sooners earn chance to make statement in The Bahamas


Magic is a word thrown around Norman, Okla. often. However, this OU men’s basketball team no longer feels “magical.”

It feels like OU men’s basketball is on the map and their success is no longer a fluke.

OU hasn’t been what it was since Blake Griffin left the Sooners. However, they are slowly getting back to success they enjoyed with No. 23.

Today the Sooners face the second-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament championship game. OU beat the UCLA Bruins and Butler Bulldogs, and are in a position to a win a tournament that, also, includes the likes of Florida, Georgetown, and North Carolina.

That’s some good company, and Oklahoma should feel good about what they’ve accomplished so far.

However, there are some bad memories OU can potentially erase if they beat Wisconsin.

For starters, OU can stop worrying about that loss to Creighton a week ago.

The Sooners could have a very nice out-of-conference road win on their resume, but the Sooners let go of a big lead over Creighton and lost their only game of the season to this point.

Wins over No. 22 UCLA and No. 2 Wisconsin would more than make up for that one slip up.

However, Sooner fans may be forgetting about last year’s schedule. Sure, you probably remember OU doing fairly well in the Big 12 Conference and making it as a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

But OU actually faced a Michigan State team that was ranked No. 1 at the time they played on Nov. 23, 2013.

OU was within four points of the Spartans with a few minutes left, but MSU pulled away late to tidy up the score.

Regardless, Oklahoma showed they could run with some of the country’s best. However, “almost” beating the top-ranked team means very little in the grand scheme of things.

So one year later, OU gets it chance at a monumental win for its program.

And yes, Wisconsin isn’t the top-ranked team, but the Sooners can make a huge statement with a victory over the No. 2 Badgers.

OU can prove it can compete away from home. They can prove they can compete with Final Four-caliber squad. And they can prove Lon Kruger is worth the money.

The Sooners and Badgers will tip off at 3:30 pm CT on ESPN in The Bahamas. Tune in to see this Sooners squad potentially send a big message to rest of the conference and the country.