Thunder fills a void
One year ago this same weekend: Oklahoma was getting ready to take on Syracuse in a Friday night Sweet 16 game at Memphis; Oklahoma State’s season had ended five days earlier; the Thunder lost at Toronto to fall to 20-52 on the season.
This year: OU finished with nine straight losses and its worst record in 30 years; OSU lost its NCAA opening-round game; the Thunder is 43-27 and a half-hour away from playing the NBA’s best team in the Los Angeles Lakers.
Imagine how dull the final Friday in March would have been without the Thunder.
The Thunder has been around just 20 months, yet at times it’s difficult to imagine our sports lives without the franchise. Last season was intriguing because it was the Thunder’s first year. This season, the team’s somewhat unfathomable success has captured our attention.
Barring a late collapse, the Thunder is headed for the playoffs, perhaps against the defending world champion Lakers.
Locals already have put away their NCAA brackets for this year and are merely casual observers of the tournament. Meanwhile, local interest in the Thunder is anything but casual.
The Thunder will have our full attention at least through April and possibly into May. It’s only Year Two, but already our sports lives have grown accustomed to the rumble of the Thunder.
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