For some reason, the Oklahoma Sooners (22-6, 10-6) continue to receive the benefit of the doubt. After suffering their fourth loss in the month of February, the Sooners chances at a Big 12 title were dashed. More importantly, Saturday’s 76-63 loss to Texas has to be a concern for the former top ranked college basketball team. They gave up a 22-0 run in the decisive second half rally.
However, the Sooners still have a great opportunity to earn a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament. According to Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, Oklahoma’s 13 point loss wasn’t enough to knock them off the top line in the West region. Keep in mind, these are only tournament projections, but their resume speaks volumes for where they will be slotted come Selection Sunday.
Last month, the Sooners were almost certain to receive a No. 1 seed. Unfortunately, the toughness of the Big 12 schedule has taken its toll. Currently, the Sooners are in third place of the conference race. They swept the second place West Virginia Mountaineers, but split with Iowa State, Texas, and Texas Tech. They have a chance to sweep the Baylor Bears next week. Otherwise, their chances at a No. 1 seed will be slim.
With Buddy Hield in contention for National player of the year, the Sooners may deserve a top seed over other teams. Hield is averaging 25.4 points per game, and is one of the most explosive scorers this season. He can easily carry the Sooners to a Final Four berth.
Let’s face it, it’s not like other teams have separated themselves. A few days ago, Xavier knocked off Villanova. Today they took a loss to Seton Hall. Once again, three projected No. 1 seeds lost in the same week. There’s one week left in the regular season, and only Kansas and Villanova seem like locks for No. 1 seeds. Yet, neither team can afford multiple losses down the stretch. In addition, the Sooners dominated Villanova by 23 points in December. Remember, two of Oklahoma’s six losses have come to Kansas.