The Oklahoma Sooners entered the week hoping to put an end to the regular season reign of the Kansas Jayhawks. Finding a rhythm here lately, the possibility of upsetting the No. 13 team in the country wasn’t completely out of the question. However, it seemed highly unlikely given the sheer level of talent on Bill Self’s roster.
To open the game, Brady Manek simply couldn’t miss as the forward collected 15 of the first 30 points scored by the team. The effort helped build a double-digit lead with 7:26 to go in the first half. Shooting 60% as a team during the stretch, it simply seemed as Oklahoma would shoot their opponent out of the gym. As the lead ballooned, the Sooners claimed a comfortable 41-28 margin at the break.
Waiting for a surge from the visiting Jayhawks, it was only a matter of time before Manek and the gang began to cool off…right? Instead, Kristian James took over the scoring effort in the second half with 17:28 remaining in regulation. Amassing a team high 24 points, sixteen of those came in the second half. Relentless on both ends of the court, the Sooners did what many thought they simply could not do — win one of the final two regular season contests.
The 81-68 victory by the Sooners officially ousted Kansas from the Big 12 regular season champion conversation. Now, the team prepares for one final battle with the league leading Kansas State Wildcats before the post-season begins.