• Oklahoma basketball: Final Four loss tough to swallow for Buddy Hield, but 'life goes on'

    By Ryan Aber | Published: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    A night after Hield and Oklahoma were blown out of the NCAA Tournament in a 95-51 loss to Villanova, there was a bit of hollowness in the smile as Hield was presented with the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy at the Hobby Center on Sunday.

  • OU Basketball: Buddy Hield wins Naismith Award

    Ryan Aber | Updated: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield was named the winner of the James Naismith Award as the college basketball player of the year Sunday.

  • OU football: Former Penn State receiver the latest addition to Sooners' impressive transfer list

    By Jason Kersey, Staff Writer, jkersey@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    NORMAN — After Geno Lewis made the decision to leave Penn State and play his final college football season elsewhere, Oklahoma began emerging as his best option. So he placed a phone call to Justin Brown, another wide receiver who made that exact move less than four years ago. “He told me that Coach Stoops was really good to him,” Lewis said. “He said he's gonna give you all the opportunity in the world as long as you hold up your end of the deal, and that's all I can ask for.” Once Lewis arrived in Norman, he found two quarterbacks who will be throwing passes his way could also relate. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray transferred to OU from Texas Tech and Texas A&M, respectively.

  • OU basketball: This wasn't how it was supposed to end for the Sooners' Four Horsemen

    By Berry Tramel, Columnist, btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Ryan Spangler jogged through first, focused on the NRG Stadium tunnel and the relief it would bring from the bright lights and the scoreboard that declared the awful news Saturday night. Next came Isaiah Cousins, who reached out to slap hands with dozens of OU students sitting on the floor who still wanted to connect with this team and these players who had resuscitated Sooner basketball. Jordan Woodard was next, and he couldn't wait for the sanctuary of the tunnel, shuffling with a towel over his head. Finally came Buddy Hield, walking with his head down. An OU fan leaning over the railing yelled, “Keep your head up, man.” Ever the loyal soldier, Hield lifted his head and kept it high as he walked away

  • OU basketball: Much like football, Sooners see special hoops season end in blowout

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer, aslater@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Backed by its charismatic star, a strong Oklahoma basketball season drifted toward magical the deeper it went, gaining steam as others fell, leaving the Sooners as one of the nation's last four standing. But right before the national title game, the momentum halted abruptly, elimination delivered an anti-climactic semifinal blowout. Sounds like OU's football season. But, now, it also describes the Sooners' hoops team, which was blasted 95-51 by Villanova on Saturday night in Houston. It was the worst loss in Final Four history. “Yeah, the seniors, they'll remember this (embarrassment),” Lon Kruger said. “But in the long run, they'll remember the positive things. And they should. They should.

  • OU basketball: Hardened by December loss to Sooners, Josh Hart and Villanova get payback in the Final Four

    By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer, aslater@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Back in early December, a previously untested Villanova team was blasted off the Pearl Harbor floor by a veteran, focused Sooner squad. It was a humbling 23-point loss. “Oklahoma started that game defensively, they were smacking the floor,” Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. “Our guys were just out there playing like, ‘Oh, we're in Hawaii, this is nice. I'm starting finally. I sat for two years, now I'm starting. This is fun.'” Over the next few months, the Wildcats zoomed through an overmatched Big East, growing with each win. That rise hit the nation's biggest stage on Saturday night, as Villanova pummeled those same Sooners 95-51, the largest win in Final Four history. Credit much for the program's

  • OU basketball: A look at the Sooners' blowout loss to Villanova by the numbers

    By Berry Tramel, Columnist, btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    Here is a look at Oklahoma's 95-51 Final Four loss to Villanova by the numbers: 5: NCAA Tournament games this season decided by at least 30 points. OU joined the list of Fairleigh Dickinson, Hampton, Holy Cross and North Carolina-Asheville. 5: Missed shots by Villanova in the second half. 6: Missed shots by OU one a single second-half possession, in which the Sooners had five offensive rebounds. 9: Points by Buddy Hield. It was 16 points below his season average. Hield made just one of his eight 3-point attempts Saturday 10: Missed shots combined by Villanova's five starters, who combined for 74 points. 11: Missed shots by OU's Isaiah Cousins, who scored eight points. 15:07: Game time elapsed in

  • OU basketball: What they're saying about the Sooners' Final Four loss to Villanova

    By Jenni Carlson, Columnist, jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Here is a look at what players and coaches were saying after Villanova's 95-51 blowout of Oklahoma in the Final Four:  * Oklahoma guard Christian James: "We did not play together. We were static. We did not move the ball. We did not play defense together. They just wanted it more than we did." * Villanova forward Kris Jenkins: "It started with our defense. We were really dialed in and focused on defense, and when we play defense at a high level, it fuels our offense. Defensively, that's the most dialed in I've ever seen our guys." * Villanova coach Jay Wright: "I'm happy we had one of those games where we just make every shot. We had end-of-shot-clock shots we just threw up and went in.

  • Final Four: How Villanova blitzed defense-less Oklahoma

    By Ryan Aber Staff Writer raber@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — With a little more than 12 minutes remaining, Oklahoma still had a chance. It's hard to believe looking back on the way Villanova embarrassed the Sooners 95-51 at NRG Stadium. But when Ryan Spangler's layup cut the lead to 13, Oklahoma had at least a glimmer of hope. But then Villanova's Josh Hart, his back to the basket, tightly guarded by Buddy Hield, whirled near the free-throw line. He pump-faked. He did it again. Then elevating more backward than in the air, hit a jumper over Hield. On 'Nova's next possession, with OU in a full-court press, Kris Jenkins threw the ball the length of the court to a streaking Mikal Bridges, threading the pass between Oklahoma's Isaiah Cousins and Jamuni McNeace.

  • OU basketball: Sooners coach Lon Kruger says 'they popped us...then they popped us again'

    By Jenni Carlson, Columnist, jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger led the Sooners back to the Final Four for the first time since 2002. But the journey came to a crashing end Saturday with a 95-51 loss to Villanova. Q: Your team has been so hot during the NCAA Tournament. What changed tonight? A: I thought (Villanova) popped us there in the first half, and we didn't respond very well to that. We came out with a little better fight to start the second half. Villanova withstood that, then popped us again. We didn't handle that very well. Have you ever seen a big game like this snowball like this one did? Oh, it's happened I'm sure. Don't like being a part of that. ... It's very disappointing. You'd like to think you can stand up there and

  • Final Four: Hield's horrible night leaves a sweet career with a sour ending

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Buddy Hield got one final serenade from fans. After being whistled for a push-off offensive foul late in Saturday's smackdown, another frustration on a night of more frustrations than you could count, the Oklahoma superstar trudged toward the Villanova end of the court. He walked straight into the cacophony of a sing-song chant from the Wildcat faithful. “Budd-deee! Budd-deee! Budd-deee!” It wasn't the peppy, joyous chant of Oklahoma fans so often heard in games past. It was tormenting. It was taunting. Haunting, too. Much like Hield's performance will be for a long time to come. “Just couldn't get it going,” he said. Neither could the Sooners, losing to the Wildcats 95-51.

  • OU basketball: TBS analyst Reggie Miller said Villanova 'wanted it more' in Final Four rout

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, mbracht@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    The Oklahoma basketball team's dismal performance in its 95-51 loss to Villanova — the most lopsided loss in Final Four history — stunned the TBS broadcast crew Saturday night. "I am in disbelief guys, 51 points, Oklahoma," said TBS analyst Grant Hill. "Nine points, Buddy Hield," added TBS analyst Bill Raftery. Play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz noted Villanova did not let up. "Relentless! This team has not stopped hustling from the get-go." Hill noted that OU appeared to be making a move to start the second half, but couldn't follow through. "They had a little bit of fight. They had a bunch of possessions where they had great energy. They just couldn't convert.

  • OU report card: Not many good grades to be had in a record-setting loss

    By Berry Tramel, Columnist, btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    Hard to find many positives in the biggest blowout in Final Four history — and we didn't find many for OU in handing out the grades for a 95-51 loss to Villanova on Saturday: Aggression D OU didn't attack Villanova. The Wildcats weren't called for a foul the first 12 1/2 minutes of the game. The Sooners shot just two foul shots the first half. Buddy Hield, Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins, consistent drivers throughout their careers, didn't dent the Villanova defense. Each shot more 3-pointers than 2-pointers (Hield 8-4, Cousins 8-6, Woodard 6-4). Defensive momentum F Villanova shot 66.7 percent in the first half. Then the Wildcats shot 77.3 percent in the second half. The most consecutive stops OU got was

  • OU in the Final Four: Sooners suffer record-setting loss to Villanova, 95-51

    By Ryan Aber, Staff Writer, raber@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Buddy Hield leaned forward before hitting a step-back 3-pointer on Oklahoma's first possession Saturday. For a few fleeting moments in the Final Four meeting against Villanova at NRG Stadium, things appeared to be like they have been throughout this NCAA Tournament. But Hield scored just four more points the rest of the first half as the Wildcats locked down defensively on Hield and the Sooners, Villanova dominated in the paint and Oklahoma's season ended with a 95-51 blowout. Villanova advances to Monday's championship game against either North Carolina or Syracuse while the reality of Oklahoma basketball without Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Ryan Spangler is now here.

  • OU football journal: Defensive lineman Charles Walker undergoes wrist surgery

    By Jason Kersey | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    In a Twitter reply to a reporter, Walker said the surgery is “not a big deal” and that he “just got something handled from the season.”