OU-OSU basketball isn't Bedlam anymore, but it's getting better

This was a far cry from Bedlam's salad days. But at least it was two teams with NCAA Tournament hopes. That's more than we've seen in recent years.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 12, 2013

NORMAN — Amath M'Baye lived Bedlam from the bench last season. He was getting antsy to live it on the court.

“On the way back from West Virginia” last weekend, M'Baye said, “as I stepped back on the bus, I was excited about this game.”

It showed. M'Baye scored 15 points, including seven straight down the stretch to blow open the game and give the Sooners a 77-68 basketball victory over OSU on Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center.

“I always love rivalry games in the Big 12,” M'Baye said.

That's a good description. OU-OSU hoops remains a rivalry game. It's just not Bedlam anymore.

This was a far cry from Bedlam's salad days. It was not Desmond Mason vs. Eduardo Najera. Not Big Country vs. Ryan Minor. Not Billy and Eddie or Eddie and Kelvin.

But at least it was two teams with NCAA Tournament hopes. That's more than we've seen in recent years.

It was not high-caliber basketball, at least from the Cowboys. They shot 39 percent from the field and afterward admitted to not playing hard enough. You never heard that after a Sutton/Sampson game.

“I didn't think we played with a sense of urgency,” State coach Travis Ford said. “You gotta compete from the time that ball's thrown up.”

The Cowboys were stagnant on offense (12 points the first 13 minutes) and slack on defense (the Sooners scored 27 points on 14 3-point shots, counting fouls).

But at least OSU rallied. The Cowboys cut a 47-33 deficit to 52-50 with 9:34 left in the game, and you thought Bedlam might return.

Then the Sooners scored nine points on their next three possessions — Steven Pledger and Buddy Hield 3-pointers sandwiched three Pledger foul shots. Though OSU hung tough, M'Baye's three straight baskets, ignited by his first 3-pointer of the season, ended the drama.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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