The road win over Baylor last Wednesday night was key in several ways. Not only did it give the Sooners their marquee win on the season, but it also gave them a boost of confidence heading into the remaining portion of the tough stretch they were to encounter.
The Sooners had a great opportunity on Saturday to assert themselves in the top two of the conference standings. But, due to a stagnant offense, and costly turnovers, the Sooners suffered a key loss on their home floor to Kansas State.
Now, the Sooners face the task of winning in front of one of the most hostile arenas in the Big 12, Hilton Coliseum.
As it sits now, the Sooners are 5-3 in conference, and in a jumbled mess with Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State for third place.
Along with the Iowa State game on Monday night, the Sooners will host Kansas on Saturday, who sits alone at the top of the Big 12 standings. In terms of conference positioning, and the Sooners NCAA hopes, this could very well be the most important week of the season.
The Cyclones are a perfect 12-0 at home on the year, and have won their four league homes games by an average of 9.0 points. Oklahoma will have to be prepared for the speed and athleticism the Cyclones possess. Iowa State leads the conference in scoring with (78.5 ppg), whereas the Sooners, are sixth with (67.6 ppg).
The good news for the Sooners, however, is that a win in either game this week will be the best of the season.
According to CBSSports.com, Oklahoma has an RPI of 22, and a strength of schedule ranked No. 8. Just about every expert has the Sooners slotted in the NCAA tournament as of now, but, if they were to drop both games this week, they could be looking at the wrong side of the bubble.
Realistically, a split this week would be a big success for this team. But most importantly, it would keep them in the top half of the Big 12 standings.
Another marquee win would be huge for the Sooners NCAA tournament chances, and they’ll have two opportunities to get another one this week.
Tipoff for Monday night is set for 6:00 on ESiPNU.
OU-Kansas will tip at 3:00 on Saturday inside the Lloyd Noble Center.