The Oklahoma Sooners may not be the most talented basketball program in the country this upcoming season. In fact the statement could easily hold true for years to come. However, those charged with filling out the non-conference slate have solved one of the greater NCAA Tournament equations — strength of schedule.
Routinely stepping onto the court against Power 5 programs during the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Sooners have remain relevant in the March Madness conversation. Now the program looks to continue the trend by announcing a another pairing with an SEC opponent.
On Tuesday, the university announced a home-and-home series with the Florida Gators. Current sitting on similar trajectories, the two posted an identical 19-12 record during the 2019-20 campaign. But the ties goes much deeper than that.
Previously holding a coaching position with the Gators, Lon Kruger coached Florida to the NCAA Tournament in 1994. That season, the team reached the Final Four for the first time in program history. Coach Kruger would not reach the same pinnacle for 22 years. Returning to the Final Four in 2016, it would be the Sooners sitting on the bench next to the then 63-year old.
In three previous meetings, the Gators collected two wins to Oklahoma’s one. Now, the crimson and cream has an opportunity to settle the score in 2020. Scheduled to meet on December 2, the two collide in Lloyd Noble Center. The following year, OU would make their first ever road appearance in Gainesville.