Nobody expected Oklahoma basketball to endure one seven-game losing streak this season yet alone two of them.
But it’s what Lon Kruger and the Sooners are going through right now. At 8-16 overall, the only hope for a tournament bid is obviously to have a magical run in Kansas City next month and win the Big 12 tournament.
So yea, looks like for the first time in five years, no crimson and cream dancing in March. This week, though, does offer the Sooners a chance to salvage, for lack of a better term, what has become of the 2016-17 season.
Every other day throughout this week is a major opportunity for OU fans to be smiling again.
Texas at OU (8 p.m. CST Tuesday)
When the two teams met three weeks ago, you could see the abundance of young talent for each squad. But the 84-83 loss to the Longhorns stung then and it stings now.
You never want to point to one game and say that’s where it all went wrong, but the Texas game does feel like that for the Sooners.
After a double overtime loss to Iowa State two days before, OU was up by five points in Austin with under a minute to go. A three by Texas, missed free throws by OU and a dramatic three-pointer in the final second and there ya go. An 83-78 lead turns into an 84-83 defeat.
OU was 8-11 overall at that point. Things have spiraled downward ever since. Now it won’t be easy for the Sooners without Jordan Woodard (torn ACL) for rest of season, but if OU can muster a big effort, it should be against its Red River Rival.
Five-star PG Trae Young decides (noon CST Thursday)
The second chance for huge news for the Sooners is in recruiting where Norman (Okla.) North point guard Trae Young will make his college decision Thursday afternoon at the Norman North gym.
Young, ranked No. 21 in the Scout 100, received his McDonald’s All-American jersey Monday morning and is ready for more fun this week in making his choice.
OU is easily one of the finalists here with most believing it’s down to OU vs. Kansas. If OU, if Kruger could somehow beat Bill Self in a head-to-head matchup like this, could do wonders going forward.
Young said he has made his decision. It’s now just about letting all the coaches know and making it official Thursday afternoon.
OU at Oklahoma State (Bedlam, 7 p.m. CST Saturday)
If Texas was when the pendulum swung poorly for OU, the Bedlam loss in Norman a week later felt like the point of no return.
A 68-66 loss that almost has to be seen to be believed. A moment where it just started to get the impression that it didn’t matter what OU did in the first 38 minutes, things were always going to collapse in the final two.
Or final one in this matter. OU led 66-62 before a series of dramatic and unfortunate events culminated in Phil Forte hitting the first game-winner of his storied career for the Cowboys.
The Sooners haven't been closer than eight points in their last three losses since this heartbreaking defeat to the Pokes.
OSU is playing much improved so now would be the chance for the Sooners to play spoiler and try to pop that NCAA bubble for Brad Underwood in his first year.
No Woodard. No momentum. Not an easy task. But this is the week where OU can hold its head high. The opportunities are there. Now we’ll see if the Sooners can take them.