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Oklahoma basketball: Sooners are taking everyone seriously from here on out

The Sooners can't afford to be “a little bit complacent,” said Sam Grooms. Beating Iowa State in first round of Big 12 Tournament will help OU's NCAA Tournament position.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: March 13, 2013

Sam Grooms shook his head at the thought of last Saturday and vowed it wouldn't happen again.

In their final regular season basketball game, the Sooners didn't even show up for the first half, allowing Big 12 cellar-dweller TCU to take a 22-point halftime lead, and an eventual victory.

If Oklahoma comes out in its first postseason game the way it did against TCU — “a little bit complacent … in some ways, wasn't really worried about it” said Grooms — it could be a quick Big 12 Tournament for the Sooners, who face Iowa State at 11:30 a.m. at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“We're going to get plastered if we come out and play that way,” Grooms said.

It would be the unfortunate end to Year 2 under Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. The Sooners built a resume with victories against powerful Kansas and Oklahoma State. The Sooners had doubled their conference victories of the previous two seasons. They were looking at their first shot winning the tournament in years. And although college basketball analysts say it would take a lot, there's a chance of uncertainty in Oklahoma's future.

CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm called the loss to TCU an “abomination.”  The Sooners dropped to the No. 11 seed in his bracket.

“It was brutal,” Palm said. “They could have been in an 8, 9 game, possibly even a seven seed. They already had a bad loss.”

That loss was when they gave up a 22-point lead to Texas with seven minutes remaining in Austin just a few weeks ago.

But if there's a silver lining in this next game for Oklahoma, Palm had the answer: “Losing to TCU is seed damaging. Losing to Iowa State? Not necessarily. If anything, they could switch seeds.”

Former coach and current ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla sees it a little differently. He thinks the resume Oklahoma has built since November will give them a case for March Madness.

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