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Berry Tramel


Griffin-Hansbrough: Another epic matchup

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm •  Published: March 29, 2009

OU’s Blake Griffin vs. North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough, with a spot in the Final Four on the line today. I wonder if Sooner fans realize how lucky they are?

Not only is OU having a school year for the ages, with great teams and great players, but the cosmos are aligning to provide the greatest of possible matchups.

Think about it. The Sooners had a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, and in the Big Bowl for the national championship, Sam Bradford was pitted against Florida’s Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner. Showdowns between players with Heismans are rare in college football history.

Now comes another worthy duel. Griffin, who has won or will win every legit version of basketball’s Heisman, against Hansbrough, the 2008 national player of the year.

And possibly looming in what would be an NCAA women’s championship game is an Oklahoma-Connecticut game that would pit Courtney Paris, a past national player of the year, against UConn’s Maya Moore, the likely 2009 winner.

Sometimes when matchups like this keep happening, you start to think they routinely occur. But they don’t. Which is why today’s game should be appreciated.

Oklahoma could play basketball another 100 years and not encounter a game like. The Sooners with a player for the ages against the leading scorer in ACC history. OU trying to reach a Final Four, but the nation’s grandest hoops program standing in the way.

It should make for a fabulous Sunday evening. Maybe the biggest night of OU basketball ever, considering the Sooner women play Pitt in a women’s regional semifinal at 9 p.m. tonight.

North Carolina is better than OU. Not a lot better, but a little. The Tar Heels would win a series against the Sooners. More elite players. More depth in general. But the NCAA Tournament  is not a series. It’s a shootout. One and done or one and won.

The Sooners don’t have to play over their heads to win. In fact, play like they did against Syracuse, and OU will win.

And either way, it should be fun.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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