Oklahoma basketball: No more hypothesizing; field set for Big 12 Championship

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For the past couple of weeks, the talk surrounding the men's Oklahoma basketball program has been about finishing strong and seeding for the Big 12 Championship and, more importantly, have the Sooners done enough to end their three-year absence from the NCAA Tournament.

We now know the answer to the first but will have to wait another week before we learn the Sooners' fate for the NCAA Tournament.

The Oklahoma men (20-11, 8-10) finished the regular season on Saturday, their last as a member of the Big 12, with a 94-80 loss at Texas. That earned the Sooners the No. 9 seed in this week's Big 12 Men's Championship at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The OU women are the top seed and one of four teams remaining in the women's bracket of the same tournament, also in Kansas City.

The Sooner men will play No. 8 TCU on Wednesday afternoon. Oklahoma and TCU played once in the regular season with the Horned Frogs winning 80-71 in Ft. Worth in early January. Because of TCU's surprising 79-77 loss at home to UCF on Saturday, the Horned Frogs dropped to the eight line in the conference tournament. Otherwise, the Sooners would have faced a rematch with Texas, a team that they had lost to twice during the regular season and have not beaten in seven consecutive games.

Although Oklahoma's 9-seed in the conference postseason tournament isn't anything to brag about, it is better than the 12th-place projection for the Sooners by the league coaches in the Preseason Big 12 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll. The major downside of being on the 9-line is: If you are fortunate enough to win and advance, your next opponent is the top-seeded team, which in this case is Big 12 regular-season champion Houston.

The men's tournament begins on Tuesday with two first-round games. Here is how the bracket sets up for OU and the rest of the teams in what will be the final Big 12 Tournament for the Sooners and the Texas Longhorns, both of whom are leaving the conference after this season for the SEC.

Tuesday, March 12

Game 1: No. 12 UCF vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State, 11:30 p.m. CT

Game 2: No. 11 Cincinnati vs. No. 14 West Virginia, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13

Game 3: No. 5 BYU vs. Game 1 winner, 11:30 p.m.

Game 4: No. 8 TCU vs. No. 9 Oklahoma, 2 p.m.

Game 5: No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Kansas State, 6 p.m.

Game 6: No. 6 Kansas vs. Game 2 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 14, Quarterfinals

Game 7: No. 4 Texas Tech vs. Game 3 winner, 11:30 p.m.

Game 8: No. 1 Houston vs, Game 6 winner, 2 p.m.

Game 9: No. 2 Iowa State vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.

Game 10: No. 3 Baylor vs. Game 6 winner

Friday, March 15, Semifinals

Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner

Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner

Saturday, March 16, Championship Final

Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner