*Junior forward Amath M'Baye. Big 12 preseason newcomer of the year; creator of the “This is OUr House” dunk.
*Senior guard Sam Grooms. Making a bid for All-Big 12 honors.
*Lon Kruger. Would be the first coach in the history of college basketball to take five different teams to the NCAA Tournament if Oklahoma gets a bid this year.
The Sooners have helped college hoops make a comeback in Oklahoma. Their victories have brought back the fans and ignited flames inside many children who have sat along the court during their practice. Those little fans have gone up for autographs and left by saying, “I'll be back one day to play.”
March Madness always delivers great storylines. The Sooners have their own offerings:
*Sam Grooms went from last year's starting point guard down to this year's scout team. His determination and focus the last few games have returned him to being the guy Lon Kruger counts on to handle the ball.
* Buddy Hield creates an energy that is contagious. The freshman guard from the Bahamas helps lift up the spirits of the team during practice and games, even though he's currently sidelined with a foot injury.
*Kruger inherited a program that wasn't winning. In his second season, he's pushing his Sooners to make a run for 20 victories and their first trip to the tournament in four years.
“Couple of things in the Sooners' favor: they've won a lot of road games, which is always a key to the selection committee. Strength of schedule is very good, and playing in an elite conference in the country that's near the top. An elite conference should bode well for their chances.” — Oklahoma assistant coach Steve Henson
“I'm not worried about Oklahoma making the tournament unless they go in a slump. These last four games are quite winnable ... They looked like they are favored in all of them. The one that would be dicey is the game with Texas. ... Oklahoma doesn't have any bad losses. They don't have anything close to a bad loss. ... I don't really see any reason on the fall out, even if they lost to Texas. Their profile isn't great. They look like a middle-seeded team. They just have to take care of business at TCU and protect their court at home.” – CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jerry Palm
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