Oklahoma basketball: Sooners nearing the Top-25 cliff at No. 23

Remember when men’s Oklahoma basketball was the talk of the land with sensational freshman Trae Young and Company motoring through opponents as the nation’s top-scoring team?

Believe it or not, that was just four weeks ago, and the surprising Sooners were 14-2 and perched in the No. 4 spot in the weekly Associated Press college basketball poll.

Well, that was then, and this is now. And now has Oklahoma tumbling like a rock in the national picture. Losers of six of their last eight games and now a very pedestrian 16-8 on the season, the Sooners have dropped all the way down to No. 23 in the AP Top 25 with a very difficult road challenge at No. 7 Texas Tech staring them straight in the face.

If Oklahoma can’t get past this next road test – and it hasn’t been successful in its last five road encounters – it will drop off the radar and fall outside of the top 25, which is where they were to begin the season. The Sooners didn’t make it into the top 25 until the second week in December after back-to-back road wins over USC and Wichita State.

In the last month, OU has gone from No. 4 in the AP poll to No. 12 to No. 17 and now hanging on in the 23 spot.

Virginia (23-2) is the new No. 1 team in the AP Top 25, despite losing to Virginia Tech in overtime on Saturday. The Cavaliers are followed by Michigan State (24-3), Villanova (23-2), Xavier (23-3) and Cincinnati (23-2).

Big 12 leader Texas Tech (21-4) is holding steady again this week, at No. 7. Kansas (19-6) dropped to No. 13. from No. 10 a week ago, after losing at Baylor over the weekend, and West Virginia (18-7) fell one spot, to No. 20, after losing at home to Oklahoma State.

One saving grace in a month of horrors as far Oklahoma basketball is concerned is that ESPN “Bracketology” visionary Joe Lunardi still likes the Sooners on the five line in his latest projections of the NCAA Tournament seedings. Embrace that now if you are a Sooner fan, because in the direction OU is heading, a five seed is a extreme wishful thinking.