The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 16, 2014

Sooners looking forward to selection

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The NCAA tournament seems to lack a definitive favorite.

“The number in front of a name this year, is probably maybe because of the great balance and the depth of teams in the country, may not be quite as significant as other years,” he said.

Getting OU back on track following the Baylor loss, which snapped a three-game winning streak, is his priority.

The performance against the Bears was a wake-up call. It wasn’t the score that was surprising it was how the Sooners failed to match the game’s early intensity.

In the first half, Baylor crushed OU on the boards and was quicker to loose ball.

“I think it just shows us, you know, how much better we need to get by next week,” forward Ryan Spangler said. “There’s a lot of things we need to work on. Defense is one of them. We need to keep picking up our defense like we have the last five or six games. But there’s just little things we need to work on to become a better team and come out firing.”

Throughout the season, the Sooners have responded after losses like the one to Baylor. The loss to Texas Tech on Feb. 12 was followed by five wins in the last six regular-season games. The only loss was at Kansas, where OU hasn’t won in a generation.

The Sooners understand why they got on the hot streak before the Big 12 tournament and why it ended.

Today, they find when and where they play again.

“I feel like this is a good loss for us, even though we wanted to win the Big 12 Championship. I feel like we needed to practice hard and catch ourselves,” guard Buddy Hield said. “We’re not as good a team as we think and we need to get back on track and just getting ready to compete hard, and I feel like next game the guys will compete hard. It should be fun next time.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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