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With KSU coming to town for hoops Saturday - an epic memory

  • Let's just start off by saying the OU-KSU men's basketball game of 1/31/77 was epic, for those who were there.

    I still think this game, and outcome, was HUGE for the development of the OU basketball program. OU beat K-State in Norman, 64-63, in front of what was, at the time, the largest crowd to see a game in Norman.

    It was a thriller right down to the end. But, in the first half, OU started out slowly and fell behind by 13 points. Then John McCullough and the guys got hot and closed the gap to two by halftime. McCullough and Mike Evans of KSU seemed to be having their own personal shootout in the second half, as the lead changed hands several times.

    With about a minute to play, McCullough scored on a top-of-the-key jumper to give OU the lead for good. But, the Cats got a steal and breakaway - but Curtis Redding missed a contested layup and OU rebounded. McCullough made the free throws to put OU up 64-61.

    It appeared to be over when OU forced another K-State miss and Cary Carrabine rebounded with 19 seconds left. But the normally automatic Carrabine missed the free throw, and K-State got out quickly on the rebound and scored. Then an odd charging call on Eddie Fields, the team's only senior, gave K-State the ball again with seven ticks left.

    OU's defense kept the ball away from Evans, resulting in a 20-foot jumper from JC transfer Larry Dassie at the horn. He missed, freshman Al Beal grabbed the rebound, and the crowd of 8,000 went nuts over the 64-63 win.

    Four days later, OU had its first-ever LNC sellout, a Wednesday night game with defending league champ Missouri. The game almost mirrored the K-State game, except the final wound up 66-63. In that one, Beal scored the game-winner and defended the Tigers' final shot succesfully. Carrabine got his chance at redemption and made two freebies with one second left.

    Back then, OU barely had a radio network, so if you were outside of Norman you had to try to find stations like KMOX (St. Louis, for Mizzou), KFAB (Omaha, for NU), and whatever Kansas station for KU or KSU came in clearly enough to hear it. My brother's future OU roommate was a sophomore at Ardmore then, and he heard the ending on KMOX. He said the crowd was so loud for the last minute that you barely hear the announcers.

    The sold-out crowd for OU-Mizzou might not have happened if the Wildcats had pulled out that Saturday afternoon game. And both games really made OU basketball appealing, mostly to the student body (which is now in its mid-to-late 50's in age).

  • How about the 2005 game in Manhattan when K-State started the game on a 13-2 run. With 4.5 seconds left they hit a free throw to go up by one. Then, Drew Lavender went the length of the floor to hit a game-winning layup at the buzzer.

    This post was edited by Tyler McComas 14 months ago

    Email: tylermccomas08@yahoo.com. Follow me onTwitter @TylerMccomas247

  • I was there. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. That team with McCullough, Carrabine, Aaron Curry, Terry Stotts and Beal will always be one of my favorite OU bball teams. Not the most talented, but, a bunch of hard working WINNERS.

  • I was at an OU baseball game in Norman that day, after coming from New Mexico for the weekend to car-shop. The crowd erupted in cheers, and I'm sure at first the guys on the field were wondering what the cheering was about. A lot of people in LDM Stadium had radios or small TV's with the game tuned in for that one.

  • That was my freshman year at OU. It was great fun to be at the games that year. It was almost like being in on the ground floor of something big and new. Carrabine was from the same part of Indiana as me and our fathers were friends. When I decided to go to OU my dad made sure I sat down with Carey to get a sense of what his experience was like there his freshman year. He gave it the "thumbs up" and I was good to go to Norman the next year.

    This post was edited by gtq33 14 months ago

  • One of my worst OU BB memories was Feb 27, 1987 when Kruger and Mitch Richmond came to town and they rallied from about 10 pts down with about a minute to play to win 90-89 on a three by Richmond with a few seconds left. I was there for this game and to this day it is probably the biggest OU meltdown of a lead I have witnessed with such little time left. Richmond did most of the damage himself in that final minute.

  • That 1977 team was pretty good but they ended up playing Larry Bird and Carl Nicks and Indiana State killed us by more that 20 pts.

  • Great memories. Mike Evans was 2-time All Big 8 player of the year for K-State (as was Lon Kruger before him). I remember him wearing a mask because he broke his nose or cheek. Curtis Redding was also an all-conference forward from Brooklyn, and later transferred to St. John's because he felt he didn't get the ball enough. McCollough was POY after Evans two year run. Lot of talent on that floor. Terry Stotts remains one of the smartest guys in the game. I was hoping for him to get the OU job, but Kruger was great hire.

  • The '77 team didn't make the NCAA field that year (it was about half of what it is now). But the '79 team did play Bird and Co. in the Sweet 16 and lost by 21.

    They were good, but Bird got the "star treatment" something fierce. Al Beal was one of my classmates that semester, and he said the officiating was ridiculous. I also heard that no other than Eddie Sutton, then at Arkansas, also thought the protection that Bird had from the zebras was the worst he'd ever seen.

    The OU students of that day probably wouldn't have minded the loss so much if it hadn't involved lousy officiating. And other one of my former classmates from that semester, Karie Ross of OU Pom and later ESPN fame, said the ISU fans were awful.

  • I think about this game often. I also was there. I always thought if you were 10 ahead with less than one minute to go, you pretty much had the game won. That game was the exception. It seems like we were 11 ahead, but we lost. Worst feeling I ever had. I still think of it every time we have a seemingly safe lead going into the last couple of minutes. The Baylor game was looking scarily familiar, but the boys hung on....and what an important win that was, maybe it will be one of the deciders at NCAA selection time.

  • nm sooner......re karie ross..........I just remember her from her tv days and how attractive she was and still is..........I was watching some of the detroit tigers playoff last season and they panned the detroit owner's box behind the duggout.......I thought the woman with him was very attractive and looked familiar.........googled and found out that she was karie ross and married the now owner of the tigers.....interesting story of clinton, ok girl to wife of tiger's owner

    This post was edited by RPHDenton 14 months ago