The Norman Transcript


March 2, 2013

Cyclones may offer last chance to make a good impression

NORMAN — Anything that happens late in the regular season — good or bad — is magnified. Wins strengthen teams’ NCAA Tournament status. Any losses weaken the case for a high seed, putting a team on the bubble or worse.

Oklahoma (18-9, 9-6 Big 12) and Iowa State (19-9, 9-6) meet at 12:30 p.m. today at Lloyd Noble Center. The game will be a clear case of how intense the late-season scrutiny is.

Both are tied for fourth in the Big 12. Both are coming off emotional overtime losses. The Sooners blew a 22-point lead with a little less than eight minutes to go against Texas on Wednesday. Two referees were reprimanded after the Cyclones overtime loss to Kansas on Monday, but the loss is still in the record book.

“It’s ironic how it’s all played out this way for a big game on Saturday,” OU forward Romero Osby said. “It plays out that we’re both competing for that fourth spot in the league.”

The fourth spot in the conference standings is critical because it makes a team a mortal lock for the NCAA Tournament. No fourth-place team in the Big 12 has ever been omitted from the field.

The Sooners must get this one over the Cyclones in order to get the spot all by themselves. Today’s game is also the Sooners’ last chance in the regular season to get a win over a team with a decent RPI. The Cyclones are currently No. 54.

Above all else, the Sooners need to erase the memory of Wednesday’s loss to the Longhorns and avenge one of their worst performances of the season. OU’s Feb. 4 game at Iowa State might have been the worst — overall — game of the league slate. The Sooners trailed by double-digits 10 minutes in and never came close to rallying. The 83-64 loss is OU’s most lopsided through 15 conference games.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NCAA Womens Gymnastics Sooners vault to program’s first women’s gymnastics national championship

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It’s probably not the way Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler drew it up. Probably, in her mind’s eye, when she saw the program she’s taken to the NCAA championships so many different times finally claim national supremacy, she ...

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners demolish Longhorns in series finale

    Disappointed. Confused. Shocked. Embarrassed....

    April 20, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder withstand Grizz charge to take Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Style points don’t matter in the NBA playoffs. It’s all about getting wins and moving on. So, despite watching a huge lead dwindle down to a single basket, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is pleased his team was able to ...

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luke Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald believes he’s got the right game on the right course — and is ready to make up for so many near-misses at the RBC Heritage. Donald had an eagle and six birdies to shoot 66 on Saturday and take a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Nets’ experience trumps Raptors in Game 1

    TORONTO — The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors....

    April 20, 2014

  • Heat open quest for another title

    MIAMI — If the Miami Heat are going to watch their season and reign atop the NBA end at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats, then fates of the franchises will have to change in a hurry....

    April 20, 2014

  • Warriors beat Clippers, 109-105, in playoff opener

    LOS ANGELES — Klay Thompson scored 22 points, David Lee added 20 and the Golden State Warriors got Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Saturday in their playoff opener....

    April 20, 2014

  • Cardinals edge Nationals, 4-3

    WASHINGTON — Lance Lynn was sharper than he had had been all season, which made it all the more frustrating for him when he failed to make it out of the sixth inning....

    April 20, 2014

  • OU gets rare hot start, but fails to finish in loss to WVU

    A slow start wasn’t Oklahoma’s problem on Saturday. Perhaps that issue has been rectified. What was evident after its 9-5 loss to West Virginia is it has more problems than solutions....

    April 20, 2014

  • Teague leads Hawks past top-seeded Pacers in Game 1

    INDIANAPOLIS — Atlanta’s Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers’ grand playoff plan. As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly. The Pacers didn’t have an answer....

    April 20, 2014