Could OU have made the Final Four?
Watching North Carolina play, you realize the Tar Heels are not unbeatable but are a cut above the other elite teams OU has played this season. Syracuse, Missouri, Kansas, Purdue. It would have taken an excellent game to beat Carolina — starting with making some shots.
In retrospect, the Sooners’ best Final Four chance was finishing strong and getting a No. 1 seed, which was no easy deal after Blake Griffin’s injury. Some thought that OU might still be a No. 1 with a Big 12 Tournament title, but who would the Sooners have replaced? Not Louisville, not Pitt, not UConn, not Carolina. So OU’s No. 1-seed hopes likely were lost with the loss at Missouri, after Griffin’s return.
A No. 1 seed would have kept the Sooners out of the path of Carolina, which now seems to be the primary goal of any team. The Sooners were a very good team but flawed — inconsistent shooting and come-and-go guard play. When the Sooners were on, they were very good, as Syracuse can attest. But when they were off, they were not very good, as Carolina saw.
All in all, the Sooners got about as far as they deserved to get. They were one of the nation’s eight best teams. Probably not one of the nation’s four best. OU would have needed some bracket help or consecutive pristine performances to make the Final Four.
But still a team to celebrate. Not only did OU go 30-6, but Jeff Capel did it with a bunch of nearby recruits. Two Oklahomans in the starting lineup, plus Texans from Fort Worth, San Antonio and Amarillo. The sixth man, Cade Davis, is from Elk City.
So a very good team and a very good season.
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