It might seem crazy to consider Oklahoma making a deep March Madness run at the moment. It’s not so crazy, however, to Sports Illustrated’s Dan Greene.
The Sooners have done little to show they can win on the road in Big 12 play. They’ve lost seven of their last nine games. And their chances at a Big 12 title have been over for quite some time — barring a conference tournament run.
Oklahoma still has the best player in the country — freshman point guard Trae Young — and his abilities on the court make the Sooners a threat to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, says SI’s Greene.
There may be no better candidate than Trae Young to become this tournament’s takeover artist who keys a surprise title run. But the Sooners’ defense and their recent struggles as Young has proven mortal make Oklahoma seem like a highly entertaining potential second-weekend team, but not a national champ.
Oklahoma isn’t Greene’s favorite from the Big 12 to win the tournament. He listed eight teams that should win the NCAA Tournament title and Kansas is the lone representative from the Big 12.
Oklahoma and Texas Tech were listed as “notable omissions,” but Greene doesn’t like Texas Tech to win it all because of its offensive issues and the Sooners for their weaknesses on the other side of the floor.
The slumping Sooners could still make a run if Young catches fire in March, and that doesn’t seem so far fetched considering how easy it is for Young to get on a hot streak.
Oklahoma desperately needs to turn it season around, however, with a win against Texas at 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, on ESPN.