It is going to be a nervous 24 hours for Oklahoma basketball fans, hoping that their good wins outweigh their surprising number of bad losses in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
In losing 11 of their last 15 games, the men’s Oklahoma basketball program is lucky to even be considered “on the bubble” on the eve of judgment day for the right to compete with college basketball’s best 68 teams in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
It is true that Oklahoma has experienced a monumental collapse in winning just four of 15 games at the most critical stage of the season. That in itself is enough to keep the Crimson and Cream out of the Big Dance. More troubling than the losses themselves is the way the once-No. 4-ranked team lost.
In road losses at Kansas and Baylor in the final two weeks of the regular season, OU showed absolutely no life or will to win, falling by 30 and 23 points, respectively. In several games during a season-long six-game losing streak, the Sooners fell so far behind in the opening 20 minutes they weren’t able to make up the difference.
This will go down as one of the most disappointing years in head coach Lon Kruger’s seven seasons at Oklahoma. Not so much because of the record (OU still will end the season with an overall winning record), but because of the number of what has to be considered bad – or, at least, highly surprising – losses, given the early season performance and rising expectations.
Lon Kruger has coached 230 games at Oklahoma, and his teams have won 61 percent of them. Along the way, there have been some bad losses, including one from this season that ranks among the top five.
We’ve broken down the five worst Oklahoma losses to date in the Lon Kruger era of OU basketball: