OU basketball: Where would Sooners stand if season ended today?

NORMAN, OK - FEBRUARY 17: Kameron McGusty
NORMAN, OK - FEBRUARY 17: Kameron McGusty /

It’s crunch time for OU basketball, both literally and figuratively.

With only one game remaining, at home on Friday taking on the Big 12 cellar dwellers, Iowa State, the Sooners still have an opportunity to improve their postseason positioning.

Related Story: The NCAA Basketball Tournament would be better served sans sooners

Several things out of the Sooners’ control would have to happen, but the OU men still have a fighter’s chance of finishing sixth in the conference standings, which would earn them an all-important opening-round bye in the upcoming Big 12 Tournament.

At present, Oklahoma is locked in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Big 12 standings. The Sooners share the same 7-10 record with in-state Bedlam rival Oklahoma State and Red River archrival Texas.

Based on the Big 12 Championship tiebreaker rule, the Sooners would be the eight seed in the conference tournament if the regular season ended today.

As one of the last four seeds, Oklahoma would play in one of the two opening round games next Wednesday night and be matched against the nine seed in the conference tournament, the Texas Longhorns. Oklahoma State, the six seed. would face the 10 seed, Iowa State in the other play-in game, with the two winners moving on to the quarterfinal round on Thursday.

The winner of the OU-Oklahoma State game would move on to face the No. 2-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers in the quarterfinals.

That’s the way it would look if the regular season ended today. But the regular season will not end until this weekend, which means the only two spots that are locked down are the No. 1 seed, Kansas, and the No. 10 seed, Iowa State. All of the spots in between are still up for grabs depending on the outcome of the games this weekend.

If the Sooners lose to Iowa State (13-16, 4-13) on Friday, the best they could do is an eighth place finish in the league, and if Texas were to win, OU could end up ninth.

It is possible, however, for Oklahoma to finish sixth and draw the No. 6 seed in the Big 12 Tournament.

Oklahoma Sooners Basketball
Oklahoma Sooners Basketball /

Oklahoma Sooners Basketball

Here is what would have to happen for the Sooners to leapfrog Baylor, which is currently holding down the six spot, courtesy of its 23-point win over OU on Tuesday:

  • OU defeats Iowa State on Friday,
  • Baylor loses at Kansas State on Saturday,
  • Oklahoma State loses at home to conference champion Kansas, and
  • Texas loses at home to West Virginia.

That scenario would leave Oklahoma and Baylor with identical 8-10 league records. The Big 12 tiebreaker formula would award sixth place to the Sooners and drop Baylor down to the seven line. OU would receive the final bye and not have to play until Thursday’s quarterfinals, where they would be matched up with the No. 3 seed, either West Virginia or Texas Tech.

Looking at the potential tournament pairings through another lens: If Oklahoma defeats Iowa State, Oklahoma State completes a series sweep of Kansas, Texas defeats West Virginia and Baylor loses to K-State, there would be a four-way tie for the No. 6 spot in the final regular-season standings.

Here is how that would sort out in terms of the six-through-10 seeds for the conference tournament:

6. Oklahoma State (by virtue of having split the season series with Texas, Baylor and OU and beaten No. 1 seed Kansas twice).

7. Baylor (split season series with Texas and Oklahoma and beat Kansas).

8. Texas (swept series with Oklahoma).

9. Oklahoma

10. Iowa State

When we finally figure all of this out, it will be time to begin pondering the seeds and matchups for the rest of the postseason. The one thing that we do know for certain: Win and you are able to keep playing.