The Oklahoma Sooners walked into a sold out Bramlage Coliseum holding the opportunity to shock the conference once again. On the other end of the court, the Kansas State Wildcats possessed a shot at claiming the Big 12 regular season title. In a physical game, Bruce Weber’s team earned a 68-53 victory while a party broke out across the arena.
Finding themselves in a ten point hole, the Sooner offense failed to find a consistent source of scoring. Credit the defensive effort of the Wildcats for only allowing Kristian Doolittle (14) and Jamal Bieniemy (12) to collect double digit points. Despite a decent shooting night, the lack of attempts at the free throw line once again become apparent.
Is it a lack of aggressiveness or simply not getting the expected calls?
Throughout forty minutes of play, Oklahoma toed the charity stripe a mere six times. Although three different players made attempts, the program collected four points from the free throw line. By comparison, the Wildcats made seventeen trips to the line. As the post season begins Wednesday, something must change if OU hopes to avoid an earlier exit from the Big 12 Tournament.
The most controversial call of the game came late as Brady Manek attempted to box out a would-be-rebounder on a three point shot attempt. Connecting with the player above the shoulders warrants a flagrant one by definition. However, the officials upgraded the foul to a flagrant two, ejecting Manek from the game with 4:01 left in regulation. Although it’s not an automatic suspension for the forward, the possibility still exists.
After a review of the incident, the NCAA and therefore, the Big 12 reserve the right to suspend Manek after the fact. We’ll wait to see what transpires leading into the tournament.