NORMAN — After Saturday's win over Kansas State, Oklahoma still wasn't in a mood to concede anything.
The Sooners weren't ready to concede they were in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, after a win clinched a .500-or-better record in conference play.
OU also wasn't ready to concede the Big 12 title, though that hill is a pretty steep climb.
Sophomore guard Buddy Hield smiled wide when Monday night's game against Kansas was brought up following the win over Kansas State.
“I'm looking forward to it,” Hield said. “It's a must-win situation for us down there, and we need that win. We need that win. Whatever comes with it comes and leave no regrets when you're done.”
The Sooners will play the Jayhawks at 8:05 p.m. Monday at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Sooners are firmly in the NCAA Tournament field barring the most severe of collapses and conference-tournament craziness that would narrow the bubble significantly.
Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com's bracketology expert, had Oklahoma as a No. 6 seed in his updated projections Sunday morning. USA Today's Shelby Mast has the Sooners as a seven.
So that leaves the Big 12 race to consider. The Sooners are three games back with four games to play, and Kansas is firmly in control of the league race.
Iowa State and Texas are tied with Oklahoma for second place in the league.
A Kansas win would clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title for the 10th consecutive season.
The Jayhawks have the nation's longest active streak of conference titles and are tied for the fifth longest of all time.
But Oklahoma could put those celebrations on hold with a win while keeping their own faint hopes of a conference title alive.
“Kansas, I think clearly is one of the best teams in the country,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “Our guys have a ton of respect for Kansas, but athletes look forward to those types of challenges.”
None is looking forward to it more than Hield, who said the trip to Lawrence, where Oklahoma hasn't won in more than 20 years, “should be fun.”
The Sooners played the Jayhawks tight on Jan. 8 in Norman, with a huge game from senior forward Cam Clark. He tied a career high with 32 points in that loss.
But this time, the Sooners have to turn around and face the Jayhawks with just 48 hours rest.
Kansas is 2-1 in Monday games during Big 12 play, with their only Big Monday loss coming Feb. 10 against Kansas State.
Oklahoma has won its only Monday conference game this season, beating Oklahoma State on Jan. 27 at home.
“It's the nature of Big 12 play. All year long — we have played 14 now — and it seems like every time we have finished a game we are looking at another real good team a few days later,” Kruger said. “This time is a little quicker than that, and it's against a really good team.”