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NCAA Basketball Tournament: OU report card vs. North Dakota State

The Sooners played hard but not always well in an 80-75 overtime loss to North Dakota State, and the grades reflect that.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 20, 2014

Coaching: B. Lon Kruger pushed most of his buttons correctly. Ahead three with 26 seconds left in regulation, Kruger told his team not to foul unless the clock got down to seven seconds. With 11 seconds, Lawrence Alexander nailed a tying 3-pointer. Maybe the only knock against Kruger’s calls was sitting Ryan Spangler a little long with three fouls. Spangler sat out from 14:31 of the second half to 8:05; during those 61/2 minutes, the Bison’s lead held steady, from 46-40 to 54-50, but the Sooners weren’t likely to make a run without Spangler’s inside presence.

Fast break game: C. The Sooners got little edge in transition, even though North Dakota State prefers to play at a deliberate pace. The Bison committed 15 turnovers to OU’s 10 but outscored the Sooners 18-13 in points off turnovers. That’s what happens when you play a team with an efficient offense and don’t take advantage of athletic superiority.